Updated 4/25 with a liquor license attorney’s thoughts
The DC Alcohol Beverage Control Board approved a settlement on Wednesday between the DC Government and the DC Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) following the Washington Post’s November 2021 triple-byline (including one Pulitzer Prize winner) investigative story that reported that the lodge bought, engraved with the FOP logo, and then resold 3,000 $80 bottles of Jack Daniel’s whiskey all across the country, all without a permit or really any legal permission from 2017-2020. The story is full of legal experts who are incredulous about the legality, and hints that FOP was in danger of losing their liquor license. In December, the Post reported that ABRA confirmed that the FOP indeed violated the law.
Not even close – the FOP agreed to a $2,000 fine, $1,000 each for the violations of failing to import alcohol without a license and selling alcohol for off-premises consumption.
Legendary Italian-American DC liquor license attorney/exurban resident/Twitter personality Richard Bianco explained that the small fine wasn’t actually out of line:
Board usually treats a course of conduct as 1 violation and fines about the min. If they wildly depart from that it won’t hold up. People hate cops abusing authority but from an ABC POV this is a standard deal.