Code enforcement was arbitrary and capricious, suit says

By Ann Knef | Feb 12, 2007

The Village of Caseyville, its mayor and zoning administrator are being sued by the owner of the Dog House Bar and Grill who claims they picked on him.

According to a suit filed Feb. 7 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, the village refused to renew David Benson's business license last July and pulled his liquor license in October.

The village's mayor and liquor commissioner George Chance and zoning administrator Paul McNamara are named defendants in the suit.

Benson claims his license was not renewed because of his "alleged non-compliance with the Development Code of the Village of Caseyville."

He also claims his liquor license was revoked because of his "alleged failure to obtain building permits and submit properly sealed engineering plans for construction work at the premises."

"Village of Caseyville...did not require other businesses located in the comply with Development the same manner or to the same extent..." that was required of him, the complaint states.

Benson claims the village's enforcement of the Development Code directed toward him was "arbitrary and capricious."

He claims he deprived equal protection under the law, in violation of the Illinois Constitution of 1970.

Represented by B. Jay Dowling of Sterling and Dowling in Fairview Heights, Benson is seeking in excess of $150,000 in damages.

He claims he incurred expenses for repetitive building permits, engineering plans, increased construction costs, loss of business and unnecessary attorney's fees and costs.

The bar and grill is located at 601-605 North Main St. in Caseyville.

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