By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
The co-owner of an Atmore business whose license was recently revoked by the city council said Monday that she and her co-owner husband did not find out until too late about a November 13 public hearing that resulted in the revocation.
Mary Frye — accompanied by her son Bobby — offered an explanation for the absence of the owners of the former Chick-A-Dee Club, a banquet-dining hall establishment that operated most recently as The Assembly Hall, from the hearing.
“I’d like to let the council members and mayor know why no Fryes showed up at your last meeting,” she said. “That’s just not like us.”
She told the council she had not received notice of the public hearing when she left her office to take another person to a doctor’s appointment on Friday, November 9. She admitted that the letter had arrived when she returned.
“When I got back and was getting ready to close for the day, it was there,” she continued. “I had some time, so I laid it down until the next afternoon. John was gone Monday and Tuesday, so I waited until John came in Tuesday. We opened the letter, and it hit us in the face that there was a called council meeting. We didn’t have but about two hours to get there, and I didn’t have time to bring my witnesses.”
Bobby Frye had spoken prior to his mother’s remarks, blaming the media for publishing inaccurate information about the November 11 shooting that left three people wounded, one critically, and resulted in the arrest of a Bay Minette man on three counts of attempted murder.
“Mr. Mayor, I read in the paper that you said it was going to be fair and just on this that happened at my place,” he said. “But all I read in the paper is fake news, fake news from one end to the other.”
The mayor asked for further explanation.
“My mother was present at the place (the night of the shooting), but she left to take one of the guys who got shot to the hospital,” he said. “We did not sell or produce no kind of alcohol; all the alcohol that was brought to the place was brought by the patrons. That’s the second thing. The third thing is that it said in the paper that there were alcohol bottles all over the parking lot and people hanging all in the parking lot. All of that was non-truth.”
He admitted that the Frye family allowed the person who rented the hall to provide his or her own security at the November 11 party.
“When it came to the security part, we did let the people who rented the building provide their own security,” he said. “Everything else was just fake, fake, fake news.”
City Attorney Larry Wettermark, who attended the session but did not speak, said later that the admission constituted a violation of the resolution that allowed the business to re-open after a similar incident in 2016.
“As far as the other people providing the security, that’s not what the resolution says,” remarked the attorney.
In other business, the council voted to re-appoint Leigh Ann Rowland to the Library Board.