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12 N.J.A.R. 379

Horizon Air, Inc., In the Matter of the Application of, for a Casino Service Industry License
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Citation: 12 N.J.A.R. 379
Decision Date: 1988
Synopsis: Horizon Air, an air taxi company, applied for licensure as a casino service industry. The Division of Gaming Enforcement ob- jected, alleging that John Salem, sole qualifier for the company, lacked the requisite good character, honesty and integrity and that his com- pany's licensure would be inimical to the policies of the Casino Con- trol Act. A hearing was requested and the matter was transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law. The administrative law judge assigned to the case found that Mr. Salem had failed to establish his qualifications for licensure and denied the application of Horizon Air. Mr. Salem had fraudulently obtained a Massachusetts driver's license while his New Jersey license was suspended. The administrative law judge concluded that this indicated a disregard for the regulatory process such that Mr. Salem should not be entrusted with a license to operate within the highly regulated area of casino service industries. Upon review of this initial decision, the Casino Control Com- mission agreed that the application for licensure should be denied. Following the applicant's appeal to the Superior Court, Appellate Division, the Commission issued a written opinion explaining the reasons for its decision. The Commission said it concurred with the administrative law judge's reasons for denying Horizon's application, but emphasized that it was not just Mr. Salem's obtaining the Massa- chusetts license that compelled denial. As witnessed by his subsequent refusals to return the license, Mr. Salem failed to appreciate the significance of his acts or the importance of complying with regulatory concerns. Moreover, Mr. Salem failed to establish by clear and con- vincing evidence that he possessed the good character, honesty and integrity required for licensure. The Commission found that Mr. Salem's actions constituted a disqualifying offense under N.J.S.A. 52:12-86(c)(2) and -86(g). The Commission held that the Casino Control Act does not require that an 'inimical offense' under section 86(c)(2) be a criminal offense, as In the Matter of Horizon Air distinguished from a disorderly persons offense. The Commission applied the rehabilitation criteria of section 90(h) and concluded that Horizon Air was disqualified. Regarding Mr. Salem's argument that his misconduct did not merit disqualification in light of other cases before the Commission which did not result in disqualification, the Commission noted that where inimicality, rehabilitation or character are controlling issues, no purpose is served by comparing factual patterns. Each case must be decided on its own facts. The Commission found that Mr. Salem had not provided clear and convincing evidence to establish that he was suitable for licensure. Paul M. O'Gara, Esq., for petitioner (Sterns, Herbert, Veinroth & Petrino, attorneys) Ellen M. Hersh, Deputy Attorney General, for respondent (W. Cary Edwards, Attorney General of New Jersey, attorney)
Rule(s) Cited: 19:43-1.3(e) 
Statute(s) Cited: 5:12-86b 5:12-86c(2) 5:12-86g 5:12-89b(2) 5:12-92c 
Citation Tracker modified-Casino Cont. Com'n; affirmed -App. Div., A6091-87-T1, 5/11/89 (unreported); certification denied-117 N.J. 139 (1989) [Updated through 1991]