Pure Spirits Michigan Q4 2019 - 10

MEET
COMMISSIONER

EDWARD CLEMENTE
The hearings commissioner for the Michigan Liquor Control Commission brings a wide and varied
background to the job, including his family's restaurant and a long and fruitful rugby career.
By Annie Tobey

Serving as a Michigan Liquor Control Commissioner isn't Edward Clemente's first rodeo. Besides two
terms as a governor appointee on the Commission,
Clemente has served in the Michigan House of Representatives representing parts of southern Wayne
County, worked as president of the Energy Innovation Business Council, led the Southern Wayne
County Chamber of Commerce and served as a
Wayne County Community College District Trustee
and in various other roles.
As a hearings commissioner for the MLCC, Clemente adjudicates formal hearings regarding licensee violations such as sales to minors, insufficient funds and
ordinance violations.
"It's like a formal hearing, but not as intense," he
explains. "The burden of proof is on the state to make
the case for the violation, and the licensee either acknowledges with an explanation or contests the hearings, and both sides present evidence."
The hearings are held throughout the state, he says,
"to make sure we're close to witnesses, law enforcement
and licensees, so people don't have to drive a lot. Like an
old circuit court judge, you travel the whole state." Clemente's orders and decisions have legal finality to them,
unless appealed.

Alcohol is still a controlled substance, and as a controlled substance, there are reasons why things take
longer or are harder to get. It's not like you're buying
a new pair of shoes.
In variety, products change more quickly. That ties
a little bit into technology because the "flavor of the
day" changes so quickly. When I started, for example,

How has the industry changed during your
two terms as a commissioner?
In three areas, primarily: technology, variety
and craft.
In technology, people want to buy alcohol and
wine, and they want it quicker. But alcohol is not
geared to the Amazon generation of delivery service.

10 PURE SPIRITS

COMMISSIONER ED CLEMENTE
His Wayne County ties and roots are strong.



Pure Spirits Michigan Q4 2019

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