Wicomico County Reacts to Culver Accusations on Alcohol Permitti - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wicomico County Reacts to Culver Accusations on Alcohol Permits

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SALISBURY, Md.-  Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver on Monday held a press conference to address a letter he wrote claiming the alcohol permits at the National Folk Festival were illegal.
 
"When we found out the license was approved by the comptroller's office again, that's when I wrote my letter.  So for two weeks I wasn't trying to get out and get in front, but as soon as it was issued I wrote the letter,” Culver said.
 
But after the Maryland Comptroller’s Chief of Staff Len Foxwell replied with his own letter on Friday, saying Culver was being unprofessional and untrue, it created a firestorm in Wicomico County.
 
Foxwell said on Monday that in 25 years of working for the state, he’s never seen an elected official work against the views of his constituents like Culver did with the Aug. 27 letter.
 
"The city of Salisbury made the application to the comptroller's office because it's our understanding the county refused to do its job. We stepped in, we exercised due diligence, we inspected the site personally to make sure all the t's were crossed and i's were dotted,” Foxwell said on Monday.
 
Salisbury Mayor Jake Day said the city went about getting the non-profit beer and wine licenses the proper way with the state.  Day added that no public safety crimes or alcohol violations were reported during the 2018 or 2019 folk festivals. 
 
"With zero public safety incidents, with zero alcohol incidents in two years of this festival, you're going to have a really positive, happy experience. That's exactly what we had as a community,” Day said.
 
But Culver claimed at the press conference on Monday that it’s the city’s job to request that type of alcohol permitting from the county’s liquor board, and there was never a request from either the city or the National Folk Festival. 
 
Culver also said that his goal was never to stop the folk festival from happening, only to get questions about if the proper procedures were followed.  
 
But yet in the letter addressing only Senate President Mike Miller from Aug. 27, not Day nor the Comptroller’s Office, Culver did not ask any specific questions about the process.  Culver only stated the licensing was illegal.
 
Since Friday’s letters were addressed, Salisbury Councilman Muir Boda says he hopes to get a previously discussed separation of liquor boards from the county back on the city council agenda in the next work session.
 
Business leaders in Salisbury are hoping to arrange a meeting between Culver and Day to discuss the issue further and repair the relationship between the two leaders because of the letter.
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