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Hearing tonight on what to do about alleged Sheraton Needham liquor license violation

Posted by Evan Allen  January 22, 2013 11:54 AM

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The Needham Board of Selectmen will vote tonight on what action to take against the Sheraton Needham Hotel, after police caught Sheraton staff serving alcohol to a minor on Nov. 29 of last year, according to information posted to the town’s website.

The hotel's general manager said it is the Sheraton Needham's first offense. He said the bartender who served the underage customer has undergone training on properly serving alcoholic beverages but has not been fired.

Selectman Moe Handel said that in circumstances like this the board has suspended liquor licenses for limited periods.

According to a letter from Needham Town Manager Kate Fitzpatrick to the Director of Operations at the Sheraton, which is included in agenda items for Tuesday’s meeting, Needham Police conducted a compliance check at the Sheraton on Nov. 29 and found that staff was serving alcohol to a person under the age of 21.

Representatives from the Police Department will be in attendance at the hearing, according to the letter, and representatives from the Sheraton are expected at the meeting as well.

"We take this very seriously," said Gurki Singh, general manager at the Sheraton Needham. "The bartender was TIPS certified and has been coached and counseled since that incident."

TIPS certification is alcohol service training. All staff who serve alcohol at the Sheraton are TIPS certified, said Singh, and the hotel employs an outside service to regularly come in and monitor whether staff are complying with alcohol service laws.

"[We] want to make sure this infraction doesn't happen again," he said.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com

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