suntimes
PROPER 
Weather Updates

City’s list of ‘flagged businesses’ includes just four directly tied to gang or drug activity

The Citgo gas stati7901 S. Damen Chicago was sited for allowing criminal activity near their business establishment. Aref Mohamed whose

The Citgo gas station at 7901 S. Damen in Chicago was sited for allowing criminal activity near their business establishment. Aref Mohamed, whose family owns the station, talked about the issue. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

storyidforme: 33349276
tmspicid: 12181656
fileheaderid: 5563692

Updated: August 11, 2012 6:22AM



They’re “conduits for criminal activity,” creating the conditions in which street gangs thrive, Mayor Rahm Emanuel says.

But a list of “flagged” businesses targeted for increased city inspections isn’t limited to liquor stores and other traditional gang hangouts.

It also includes a McDonalds restaurant just yards from Chicago Police headquarters that has been cited for failing to control vermin, and a near West Side Dunkin Donuts where a customer complained of seeing a rat.

City Hall says the 37 businesses named on the list — released Monday — have been cited multiple times for code violations and haven’t shown a willingness to tackle problems which are blighting the communities they operate in.

Of the 37 businesses named, just 4 are directly alleged to have served as bases for gang or drug activity. Others are listed because they sell loose cigarettes — “a strong indicator of gang activity,” according to City Hall spokesman Tom Alexander — or have attracted the attention of police or other city departments.

Police this weekend found a gun hidden inside one of the four stores accused of the most serious violations, Nickel Liquors, at 3637 West Division, and last week arrested an employee at a neighboring store, Get Connected, 3647 West Division, for drug and firearms offenses.

But customers and staff at the two other businesses where the city alleges drug dealers operate, Citgo gas stations at 79th and Damen and 82nd and Kedzie, said their inclusion on the list was a cheap shot.

Aref Mohamed, whose family owns the business at 79th, said it had employed a security guard to keep gangs off the property. “We’re doing the best we can — we call the police and move them on,” he said.

Muhannad Awadallah said he bought the gas station at 82nd street just six months ago and was being punished for the lax habits of the previous owner. He’s installed 32 security cameras and completely remodeled the gas station, he said. “It used to be a drug spot, but not anymore,” he added.

Customer Lauren Adams agreed as she left the clean and gang-free spot Monday. “There always used to be large groups of young men loitering here and making me uncomfortable, but that’s stopped,” she said. “The new owners have done a great job.”

Alexander said the goal was to work with businesses to fix the problem, but warned that if they “thumb their noses” at the law, the city will “close them down.”

Here is the complete list, provided by the city:

• 24 Foods, 329 N. Laramie Ave. (added to list May 2012). Referred for disciplinary action.

More than 5 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for deceptive practices and liquor liability insurance.

• AM Dollar, 6407 N. Leavitt St. (added May 2012)

More than 5 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for selling un-stamped cigarettes, bidis and deceptive practices.

• Amoco Gas and Food, 7603 S. Chicago (added May 2012). Referred for action.

More than 6 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for selling un-stamped cigarettes, possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia, furnishing tobacco products or tobacco accessories to minors and deceptive practices.

• AM-PM Food Mart, 1924 E. 87th (added May 2012). Referred for action.

More than 4 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for selling un-stamped cigarettes and deceptive practices.

• BP, 400 E. 95th St. (added June 2012)

5 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for deceptive practices, lack of required tax stamps, record keeping, and sale outdated formula.

• Cermak Produce, 3311 W. 26th Street (added May 2012)

5 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for control of vermin and insects, sanitation requirements, compliance with city regulations and deceptive practices.

• Cermak Produce, 1711 W. Cermak Road (added May 2012)

4 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for sanitation requirements, compliance with city regulations, selling outdated merchandise and deceptive practices.

• Chicago Avenue Discount, 5605 W. Chicago Ave. (added May 2012)

More than 19 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for selling un-stamped cigarettes, furnishing tobacco products to minors and deceptive practices.

• Citgo Food and Mini Mart, 6700 S. Cottage Grove (added May 2012)

3 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for selling outdated merchandise, possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia, and price marking and display.

• Citgo, 5901 S. Ashland Ave. (added June 2012)

3 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia, furnishing tobacco products or tobacco accessories to minors, and deceptive practices.

• Citgo Fuel and Mini Mart, 8200 S. Kedzie Ave. (added June 2012)

2 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for the sale of outdated formula and possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia.

• Citgo Fuel, 7114 S. Vincennes Ave. (added June 2012)

More than 3 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for deceptive practices, lack of required tax stamps, record keeping, and posting of tobacco warning to minors.

• Citgo Fuel, 7901 S. Damen (added June 2012)

More than 5 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for sanitation requirements, food not properly stored or labeled, control of vermin and insects, deceptive practices, possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia, record keeping and required tax stamps.

• Clark, 5035 W. Division (added May 2012). Referred for action

2 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including police violations for drinking in public way and selling un-stamped cigarettes.

• Congress Corporation, 2135 N. Milwaukee (added May 12). Referred for action.

More than one docket at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in order of liability, including violation for failure to repair or replace defective fire pump, and police violations including violations for failure to cooperate, fire hazard, and operating after permitted hours.

• Dollar Depot, 343 E. 103rd St. (added May 2012)

More than 8 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for selling un-stamped cigarettes, deceptive practices, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Dunkin Donuts, 800 N. Kedzie (added June 2012)

3 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for sanitation requirements and control of vermin and insects.

• GJK Petroleum, 734 W. 111th Street (added May 2012). Referred for action.

More than 10 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for control of vermin and insects, compliance with city regulations, and possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia.

• Halsted Discount, 12301 S. Halsted (added May 2012)

More than 11 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for selling un-stamped cigarettes, furnishing tobacco products to minors, and deceptive practices.

• Jamaica Food and Liquor, 4252 S. Cottage Grove Ave. (added May 2012). Referred for action.

More than 3 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in ordersof liability, including violations for deceptive practices and furnishing tobacco products or tobacco accessories to minors.

• Laristos, 606 E. 75th St. (added May 2012). Referred for action.

3 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for liquor liability insurance, closure order violations, and food establishment compliance.

• Lawrence Discount Enterprise, 3737 W. Lawrence (added May 2012). Referred for action.

Police violations including violations for illegal conduct on premises (felony conviction).

• Marathon, 6124 S. Ashland (added May 2012)

6 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for control of vermin and insects, previous serious and/or minor violations no corrected, deceptive practices, and selling un-stamped cigarettes.

• McDonald’s, 207 E. 35th St. (added May 2012)

3 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for control of vermin and insects, food handling and sanitation certificates required, and compliance with city regulations.

• McDonald’s, 2609 S. Kedzie (added May 2012)

2 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for control of vermin and insects.

• R & G Miller, inc. 939-941 N. Pulaski (added May 2012)

Referred for action.

More than one docket at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for failure to discontinue using and remove padlocks from all 1st floor required and police violations for overoccupancy and operating after a cease & desist order.

• SAA Food and Liquors, 2561 E. 75th St. (added May 2012). Referred for action.

3 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for failure to control vermin and insects, sanitation requirements, and false burglar alarm.

• Sanchez, Armando, 1402 N. Ashland Ave. (added May 2012). Referred for action.

2 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for defective or missing members of exterior stair system and maintenance of grease container.

• Sid’s Lounge, 2340 W. 69th St. (added May 2012). Referred for action.

More than 3 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for selling un-stamped cigarettes, furnishing tobacco products or tobacco accessories to minors, and deceptive practices.

• South Shore Produce, 7900 S. South Shore Drive. Referred for action.

More than 6 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for deceptive practices, price marking and display, sanitation requirements, and fraud in connection with sales.

• Subway, 816 N. State St. (added May 2012)

More than 3 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for sanitation requirements, over accumulation of refuse in refuse container, and food handling and sanitation certificates required.

• Subway, 9518 S. Halsted (added June 2012)

3 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for sanitation requirements, control of vermin and insects, and previous serious and/or minor violations not corrected.

• Sweet Tart Inc., 1559 S. Homan Ave. (added May 2012)

12 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for selling un-stamped cigarettes, furnishing tobacco products or tobacco accessories to minors, and deceptive practices.

• Three Stars Liquors, 310 N. Koster (added May 2012)

Referred for action.

More than 3 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for price marking and display, outdated formula, deceptive practices, and fraud in connection with a sale.

• Tony’s Finer Foods Enterprises Inc., 2500 N. Central Ave. (added May 2012)

5 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for deceptive practices.

• Tony’s Finer Foods Enterprises Inc., 3607 W. Fullerton Ave. (added May 2012)

5 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for deceptive practices.d.”

• Tony’s Finer Foods Enterprises, 4137 N. Elston Ave. (added May 2012)

2 dockets at Administrative Hearings in previous 12 months, which resulted in orders of liability, including violations for un-stamped cigarettes, furnishing tobacco products to minors, and selling outdated merchandise.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.