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May 29, 1971 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-05-29

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Saturday, May 29, 1971
were not even notified of the
When the fight moved to the
full council on May 25, Kazarin-
off resumed his opposition. He
suggested the license go to Aris-
tidis and Mary Mellos, who op-
erate Curtis' Beef Buffet at 207
South Main Street and whose
application had been pending for
six years. The motion failed, six
to four.
Kazarinoff then moved that the
license be granted Campus Inn
only if Stegeman sold his shares
in it, a proposal no one took ser-
iously since Stegeman is the sole
owner of the hotel. That motion
i lost, 8-2, and by an identical vote
the council awarded the license
to Stegeman.
Church spokesmen contend
they had no warning of Stege-
man's intent to apply for a liquor
license until representatives of
the State Liquor Commission in-
quired if they had objections
They say Curry, the chairman
of the city liquor committee did
not inform them of the commit-
tee meeting. He says he did. Re-
gardless, it seems strange that
the word "cocktails," speoted out
in bold letters on the Inn's rmsr-
quee, hadn't tipped off the chur-
ches to what Stegeman wo!.) do.
In any event, the Mehodist
Church finally acted. A special
meeting of the administatise
board, voted 38-2 to file a formal
The sense of the meeting, ex-
plains the Rev. Hoover Rupert,
was that "we'd been had!" Their
anger was directed at Stegeman,
more than liquor - and had
Stegeman not been involved, Ru-
pert says, "I don't know what the
vote would have been."
NOw FINALLY, when it was
too late, Stegeman's oppon-
ents proceeded to get themselves
together. On June 29, City Coun-
cil considered a motion to rescind
its earlier grant of the Campus
Inn license.
This time, the churches were
represented, And this time, with
the exception of Curry, the Demo-
cratic majority voted against
Stegeman. The motion lost on a
5-5 tie
Curry, a carpenter and a mem-
ber of the building trade union,
40 said he supported Stegeman's ap-
plication from the start for a
single reason-jobs. Stegeman
had promised that the license
would creat nearly 80 new jobs,
and for Curry, this concerns out-
weighed all others.
What changed the votes of the
# other Democrats?
Mayor Harris contends that
Stegeman's "lies" were the de-
termining factor - first, when he
promised the churches ha did not
intend to seek a license, but even
more important, when he led the
Liquor Committee to believe the'
churches did not object,
Democrat John Kirscht recalls
that at one point in the heated
debate during the second council
meeting, Harris exclaimed: "Is
there no end to the amount of
cheating and lying that the coun-
cil will take from this man?"
Faber and Stadler, who also
switched their votes from one
council meeting to the other, had
similar reasons. Faber, in addi-
tion, was suddenly struck by the
fact that 26 applicants sto-od
ahead of Stegeman.

Had the Democrats voted with
Kazarinoff on the motion to grant
the license to the Mellos, Fair-
banks' vote would have given
them the needed majority. Had
they even voted to reject Siege-
man's application when it first
came up, the tie would have de
feated him. As it was, Denocra-
tic indecision had given Stege-
man a victory in round two.
Stegeman had only one hurdle
remaining - the Michigan Liquor
Control Commission, which would
grant final approval of. the li-
cense. Stegeman and the chur-
ches now brought up thaor big


Page Five I

tting around rules

Ranged on one side vere: El-
mer White and the Rev. Fred
Maitland, for the Methodist
Church; Robert Howison, for
Grace Bible, and the Rev. Allen
B. Rice II, representing MICAP.
On the other side were Stegeman,
his attorney, Conlin, plus several
Caught in the crossfire-'was Ann
Arbor's own Stanley G. Thayer,
a former state senator and chair-
man of the Liquor Control Coin-
The five-man Liquor Commis-
sion customarily separates its
functions into two parts. Two
commissioners act as field in-
vestigators; three sit as a panel
to hear license applications.
Those assigned to hearings tre

hospital staff dinner held at the
Campus Inn, at whico liquor was
apparently served. When Wh te
wound up by declaring that the
hospital staff had had "a lousy.
meal, too," he was admonished
by Thayer to "act like a gentle-
Stegeman and Conlin produced
letters of support from commuu-
ity leaders, and insisted that the
license was necessary to the ho-
tel's success.
That was, in fact, h basic
argument. When Rev. Rice stated
bitterly that "what we're talking
about is an economic isue."
T h a y e r responded, "That's
The churches insisted that the
state law intended licenses to be

"The decision (not to protest)
. . . was based essentialy on our
unwillingness to enter into the
kind of casuistry which the pres-
ent law and the entire licensing
procedure requires. The issue in
these cases is decided not on ta-
tional or moral grounds . . . but
on the trivial and accidonal fac-
tor of proximity to a ethren or
school, as though it reaily niat-
ters whether a pollutant enters a
stream from a distance of 510
or 498 feet."
The Methodist Church also de-
cided against further action.
"I was not prepared to go to
our Administrative Board aind
recommend appealing the LCC
decision in the courts," Res. Ri-
pert said. "tI was also not pre-

Rev. Rice said he was appalled
by the whole proceeding,
-"The whole thing stinks," he
insisted. "The action by the co'-
mission is irresponsible, to say
the least."
MICAP's appeal to the Gover-
nor contained two main charges:
that it was improper for Thayer
to assert a division in Mvihodist
membership, in the face of the
38-2 vote of the board; and that
it was improper for Thayes' to
have presided oe r the hearing
in view of Conlin's participation.
In an angry, bitter letter to
Milliken on Sept. 18, MICAP de-
manded a public apology from
Thayer, as well as other niea-
sures - that the Campus Inn be
restrained from serving liquor
in its lobby, and that it be re-
strained from "enticng the col-
lege drinking crowd."
Milliken dumped this boiling
mess on his Administrative As-
sistant, Richard McLelland, who
issued a final report in January,
1971. Cn behalf of the Governor,
McLelland stated that the facts
did not support the suspension or
removal of Thayer.
Earlier, Milliken had admini4ed
confidentially to MICAP th:ot hi-
agreed Thayer'.saction had been
"improper," although not illegal.
And he assured them an apo'loy
would be forthcoming. To date,
it has not, although Thayer did
meet with Rev. Rupert in an at-
tempt to smooth things out.
Dr. Rupert believes toe LCC
chairman had not understosd
that his abstention from the fsi
vote did not offset the fact that
he presided over the hearing.
"t don't think ne realized now
stupid this looked," Rupert said.
Nevertheless, while MICAP
continues to pursue Thayer,
Stegeman plays host to thirsty
Ann Arborites.
To date Stegeman has refused
to comment on any of the issues
raised by this investigation or
by his promotion of the Campus
Inn. Perhaps he feels it isn't
necessary since he has won the
battle with the Liquotr Contr i
Commission, as well as all the
skirmishes with City Council, the
Zoning Board and the Depart-
ment of Building and Safety En-
But he may have lost the war,
if the four plaintiffs currently
suing him for more than the hotA
is worth, force foreclosure.

INSIDE THE CAMPUS INN is the Cheerleader Lounge. Stegeman crossed a number of hurdles in
his efforts to obtain a license to serve liquor in the Inn.

chairman Thayer, Josepr L. Ws-
niewski (D), and Louis G. Jar-
boe (R). On July 2 in Lincoln
Park, when the Campus Inn ap-
plication came before them, J.,r-
boe was absent. Only Thayer and
Wisniewski heard the actual tes-
timony. Although Thayer dis-
qualified himself from voting, he
took part in and preJed over
the hearing.
His problem was Conlin. who
was not only Stegeman' attor-
ney, hut Tb ayers as wetl. This
was the situation that MICAP
protested, lord and long, for
months after the hearing was
IN THE ANNALS of the Liquor
Commission, the great Com-
pus Inn blow-up will not soon be
forgotten. The accumulated frus-
trations of the anti-liquor, anti-
Stegeman forces finally eiploded
in a memorable confrontaticon be-
tween White and Thayer.
By the time they reached the
Commission, t h e ehurhmon
were absolutely furiwis - cc
furious, in fact, that they loaded
the proceedings with nearly ev-
erything they had ever heard
about the Campus Inn, Stegeman,
Stegeman's ot h e r properties,
Thayer, Conlin, and anything
else they could think of.
One of White's assertions re-
ferred to the arrest of several
juvenile runaways foun: in
Stegeman's Bell Tower Hotel.
Another was an invitation to a

granted only if there were no
church objections. Thayer re-
jected their argument.
And then Thayer himself got
visibly angry. "I am going to tel
you right now," he anneunced
over much protest, "that your
arbitrary attitude is not going
to help with this Commission .. -
it is a matter of how we feel
about the community that is go-
ing to determine what we are
going to do. You are not going to
be arbitrary and say that we do
this, boom, boom, boom!"
The decision, when it came,
was signed only by Wisniewski
and the absent Jarboe. Thayer
did not vote. Wisniewski and Jar-
boe voted, 2-0, to grant the Cam-
pus Inn license. Both Thayer and
his critics admit that the Coi,-
mission seldom issues a split de-
"If there is disagreement,"
Thayer explains, "we generally
discuss the case and agree on a
but the anti-liquor forces
were not willing to admit it. They
turned their anger away from
Stegeman, to launc h a bitter
personal attack on Stanley
The local churches decided to
let the matter drop, although J.
S. Strange, vice-chairman of
Grace Bible Church, sent an an-
gry protest to Milliken. Rev. O.
Carroll Arnold, of First Baptist
Church, issued a statement of
their position July 20:

pared to go after Stsanley
Thayer's scalp."
He was frankly reluctant to get
involved in a crusade that could
have split his church, and might
have turned the LCC chaid man
into "a martyr."
MICAP, however, had only
just begun to fight, and Thayer's
scalp was precisely what they
were after. They began a can.-
paign to have Milliken remove
him as LCC chairman.
Although in no way officially
representing the Ann Arbor
churches, MICAP 'leinanded
Thayer's removal "for circum-
stances surrounding the commis-.
sion's approval of a liquor license
for Campus Inn."


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