Madison County commissioners approved a beer and wine license for the new owner of Kwik Chek at the intersection of Hwy. 29 and Glenn Carrie Road Sept. 24.
New store owner Ifran Hameed applied for a continuation of the beer and wine license at the store. He replaces former owner Mohammad Shafiq, who was at the center of attention during the contentious Republican primary for county sheriff.
Shafiq filed a federal election complaint against candidate Clayton Lowe, alleging that Lowe harassed him at the Sam’s Club in Athens. Lowe, who denied the allegation, arrested Shafiq several years ago for commercial gambling at his establishment.
Soon after the complaint was filed, Shafiq was arrested on two counts of election fraud for allegedly altering voter registration cards. The former convenience store owner was subsequently arrested on domestic abuse charges.
Commissioner Stanley Thomas reviewed Hameed’s paperwork and asked several questions, wondering, for instance, why the applicant had signed a five-year lease agreement to operate the store, without first getting BOC approval for the beer and wine license.
“It seems the lease was in place before we made a decision on it,” said Thomas, who also noted that one date on the papers was for March 1, 2011. Thomas questioned if Hameed had been responsible for the store since that time.
Another man approached the podium then, noting that Hameed struggled with English. He said the application included some “typing mistakes” but that they had been corrected with a new application.
Thomas questioned Hameed’s current residence, noting that the application listed his address as 73 Bedford Drive.
“That address has a few legal issues,” said Thomas.
Hameed said he plans to move there at the end of this year. He now resides in an apartment on South Milledge in Athens.
“We need a correct application with a correct address between now and the first of the year,” said Thomas. “I’d like to see a corrected application.”
Commissioner Anthony Dove said the convenience store has been a source of citizen complaints.
“I don’t think I’d be doing my duty if I didn’t say that I’ve had complaints about that establishment and I’ve turned it over to law enforcement,” said Dove.
The man speaking for Hameed said those issues are with the “previous owner” and said Hameed would do a better job.
Commissioner Mike Youngblood made a motion to approve the beer and wine application and the board voted 4-1 in favor, with John Pethel providing the lone “No.”
“I’d like to see an amended application,” said Pethel.