Citgo gas station accuses Chicago of abuse of power in denying tobacco license

By Robert Hadley | Aug 31, 2015

A Chicago gas station is suing the city and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, alleging abuse of power in denying a tobacco license.

94 Fuel Inc., doing business as Citgo Food & Mini Mart, filed a lawsuit Aug. 31 in Cook County Circuit Court against the city of Chicago, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection, Maria Guerra-LaPacek, Barbara Gressell and Robert Emmett Nolan.

According to the complaint, when the plaintiff applied in July 2014 for a tobacco license, it was denied because of the negative background of Ahmad Alghazali, then president of 94 Fuel. After a new president was named and 94 Fuel appealed the decision, the suit says, the city denied the application based on the business’ location at 7900-10 S. Lafayette Ave., Chicago, and its refusal to close between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The plaintiff objects to the restricted hours of operation and says there is no factual evidence to deem the location inappropriate for tobacco sales.

94 Fuel seeks punitive and compensatory damages of more than $50,000, plus a reversal of the denied tobacco license. It is represented by attorney David R. Kugler of David R. Kugler & Associates in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number 2015-CH-12993.

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