Licensing Director Attorney Alesia Days states, “There is a need to clarify some of the erroneous beliefs that are presently held about the status of Club Aquarius. While there have been a number of statements that suggest that the fate of their licenses have been decided, there has not been any decision on what, if any, sanctions will be imposed. My office has been contacted by numerous citizens and City Councilors that have shared their concern about Club Aquarius and sanctions. Several media outlets have also reported various statements that have been communicated. Statements, however, are not what govern the decisions made by the License Commission.
“Consistent with the Mayor Sarno’s belief that public safety is what is of the utmost importance to citizen’s, decisions made by the License Commission are also based on ensuring that licensees operate in such a way to protect the patrons that they serve. Those decisions are based on all evidence presented as it relates to the facts and circumstances that are received from the Springfield Police Department upon conclusion of the Department’s investigation. This makes certain that each licensee is treated equally and are afforded the constitutionally guaranteed right of due process.
“The License Commission’s commitment to due process is never compromised by statements and I can confidently state that while being a part of this administration, the Licensing Department, generally, and the License Commission specifically, has always operated autonomously and has not been influenced into any decision as a result of statements. Additionally, as the Director of Licensing and a Deputy City Solicitor of the City of Springfield who is, innately and unapologetically, an African-American woman, I am well aware of the misconceptions that people of color face throughout this country and seek to always operate all facets of the License Commission from a spirit of transparency and fairness. I will not explicitly elaborate on any previous or current investigations with respect to other licensed establishments in the City, however, several establishments have received sanctions from the Mayor and/or the License Commission, which have not been owned or managed by people of color. With respect to Club Aquarius, similar to all licensed establishments, they will be treated fairly and any decision, after hearing, will be based solely on all evidence presented.”