Commission sets Brick House hearing

ALBANY -- Representatives of Brick House Productions, the scene of a Valentine's Day slaying, will square off against the Albany City Commission Friday morning in a fight to save their business license and to keep their doors open.

At Monday's business meeting, commissioners received a three-page report, signed by Albany Code Enforcement Director Mike Tilson, outlining that agency's investigative actions against the business going back to Feb. 8, 2008, and culminating in the Feb. 14 incident in which 20-year-old Lasheldon Stanford was fatally shot.

Commissioners decided in their pre-briefing before the 8 p.m. regular meeting to schedule a license revocation hearing for Friday at 9 a.m.

City Attorney Nathan Davis advised the commission that it needed to give Brick House Productions owner Molly Loving at least 48 hours notice to comply with law.

The commission is feeling some political heat to act after a similar code enforcement investigation prompted a revocation hearing in 2008 that was tabled by the commission and resulted in no action by the board.

"I think we need to do it as soon as possible," Mayor Willie Adams said.

The packet that was given to the commission and media Monday suggests that Loving, who filed two separate occupational tax certificate renewal applications -- one for a "recording studio" for Brick House Productions and a second for an "Amusement-Entertainment Multipurpose Facility" and "promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and similar events with facilities" for subsidiary Brick City for the same address at 1708 Schilling Ave. -- is doing business that "is injurious to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Albany."

The report states that on at least two separate occasions it was discovered that alcohol was being sold at the location and illegal drugs were found. One of those occasions weapons were also found.

According to the report, agents with the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit and Code Enforcement first inspected the location on Feb. 8, 2008 after a complaint was lodged.

The officers recovered a .22-caliber revolver, seven .22-caliber bullets, 7.3 grams of marijuana and 5.5 grams, or 18 pills, of Ecstasy. Agents also discovered a fully stocked bar and four large plastic tubs with various amounts of beer, despite the fact that the facility had no alcohol license.

That raid led to 14 charges on two people, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of Ecstasy within 1,000 feet of a park, housing project or school.

Following the raid, Loving and her husband, Daniel Lee Loving Jr., were counseled by Code Enforcement about the limitations and regulations for their business license, the report states.

On March 15, 2008, ADDU agents served a search warrant and again found alcohol stocked at the facility, along with evidence of recently smoked marijuana. Daniel Loving was arrested for possession of marijuana.

On Oct. 19, 2008, the report states that Albany police officers responded to a possible shooting at Ram Arms Apartments on the 1300 block of Radium Springs Road. The victim told police that as he was leaving Brick City, a unknown male started shooting at him. There were no injuries, but bullet holes were discovered in the victim's vehicle.

On April 9, 2009, the report states, an APD officer was patrolling the block when he observed a suspicious male. When the officer made contact, he discovered a plastic bag containing 15 smaller bags of a green, leafy substance later identified to be marijuana.

On April 13, 2009, APD officers responded to Brick House in reference to gun shots. When they arrived, they noticed a male carrying a large firearm across the parking lot and arrested the individual, the report states.

On May 3, 2009, APD officers responded to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in reference to a shooting victim. Officers discovered a 16-year-old male had been shot in the right arm by an unknown person while he was leaving Brick City, the report states.

On Halloween night 2009, APD officers responded to Palmyra Medical Center in reference to a shooting and made contact with an individual who said he had been shot in the calf while leaving Brick City.

The list is topped by the Feb. 14 shooting of Stanford, which also injured a security guard.

"In short, these businesses made untruthful statements in their applications for occupation tax certificates; the foregoing incidents rise to the level that this business is a danger to the citizens of Albany," the report states.

Commissioners Jon Howard and Tommie Postell both asked during the pre-briefing what would happen if no one from Brick House showed up to the hearing.

"They're entitled to notice, but we can move forward with out them being there," Davis said.