An honest admission of guilt went a long way toward the Braintree Board of License Commissioners placing a one-day alcohol license suspension on the Loyal Order of the Moose for a violent incident last month.
On April 1, an alleged fight occured between two unnamed members of the lodge, one of whom was a club officer. Neither were named at the hearing on Tuesday. They faced charges of assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
The board could have imposed as much as a three-day suspension for the first-time violation, but instead voted unanimously to apply the lesser penalty, which will not actually be imposed if the lodge avoids further incidents for 90 days.
"I don't think this board will be as lenient" faced with another violation, said Marybeth McGrath, board member and licensing and inspection director.
"This is a major black eye to us," Denis Gaine, the lodge administrator, said. "Grown men to act the way they acted was very disappointing to us."
Gaine appeared extremely contrite thoughout the hearing, and actually waived the evidence phase involving police testimony, agreeing right away that the club was at fault. "This is something we really just don't tolerate," he said.
Both men involved in the incident were longtime members, Gain said, of at least 15 years each. About 660 men and women belong to the Loyal Order of the Moose in Braintree and there are nine officers. Additionally, there are some 1,500 lodges and 800,000 members in all 50 states and Canada, according to the group, which is geared toward community service and charity.
The license supension, even if not imposed, will remain on the club's record for at least 48 months.