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Browntown bartender charged with closing too late
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MONROE - A bartender at a Browntown tavern is charged with violating liquor license laws by keeping the business open past the weekend mandatory closing time of 2:30 a.m.

Tina L. Rees, 46, McConnell, Illinois, stood mute on the misdemeanor charge April 9 in Green County Circuit Court. A plea of not guilty was entered on her behalf. She has a pre-trial conference May 1.

A deputy stopped by Trailside Inn, 101 E. Old Highway Road, at 2:33 a.m. on March 4 and found it still open, according to the criminal complaint.

"As I approached the business, I heard yelling coming from inside the business. The business appeared to be still operating at this time," the deputy noted in a report.

Sixteen customers were still drinking in the establishment, and when the deputy asked Rees why she hadn't closed by 2:30 a.m., she said the bar was busy that night and she had some customers who were refusing to leave. The deputy suggested she call the sheriff's department when this happens.

Rees was previously warned for keeping Trailside Inn open too late at 2:43 a.m. on Jan. 14.

When the deputy returned March 4, she claimed she was being "harassed" by the Green County Sheriff's Department and was "very argumentative and uncooperative," the deputy wrote.

Two days later, the deputy drafted and sent a letter to the village of Browntown requesting that the village board consider revoking Rees' bartending license.

- Katjusa Cisar