A lawsuit filed last month against McDuffie County has been resolved, according to county officials.
Leona Felix, owner of Washington Road Package Store, filed a lawsuit against the county and Wall-to-Wall Package Store Owner Keith Wall after the county upheld Mr. Wall's alcoholic beverage license in a public hearing in December.
As a result of the resolution, both Mr. Wall and Ms. Felix will be able to operate their liquor stores next door to one another, as they had wished.
"She has her liquor store open, and Mr. Wall can have his open. Everybody should be happy," said Ms. Felix's attorney, Jack Long.
Ms. Felix accused Mr. Wall of not posting a sign advertising his application for an alcoholic beverage license for the required 30 days. Mr. Wall owns the building in which Ms. Felix used to operate Washington Road Package store. Her lease on the building ran out at the end of 2003, and she has since moved her store to an adjacent property, with Mr. Wall opening up Wall-to-Wall Package Store in the vacated space. Her store opened for business earlier this week.
County officials said that they're happy the lawsuit is behind them, if only because no more taxpayer dollars will need to be used.
"I am happy it's over," said County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton. "This saves taxpayers money, and that's what it's all about."
County Attorney Sammy Fowler said that Mr. Wall was instrumental in bringing the lawsuit to a close. A state law would not have allowed Ms. Felix from opening her new store if Mr. Wall received his alcoholic beverage license first, which after the public hearing, he did. A little help from Mr. Wall, however, allowed both stores to open next to one another.
"Keith was gracious enough to do it this way, by essentially redating his license, and it really helped (Ms. Felix). We were prepared to fight this battle, but this resolved it, and it saved the county money," said Mr. Fowler.