Some charged in gaming probe question city's actions

Published: Monday, December 2, 2013 at 09:02 AM.

Mistry said he paid $1,000 in license fees, $500 each for his two machines, to the city on June 28. At that point, police would have already been six months into its investigation into the gaming machines, according to its timeline in its Oct. 17 press release, yet the city continued to issue licenses for additional machines.

Gajendrabhai Patel, owner of Food Fare, said through an interpreter that he had paid $1,500 in fees to the city, including $500 for one machine on Oct. 13, just four days before police showed up at his West Main Street business with a search warrant. He is charged with one count of operating or possessing a slot machine.

Patel said through his interpreter that he would not have operated the machines if he had not paid a license for them or if he had known they were illegal.

“If he would have known they were coming, he would have left the machines inside and put a sign up that said out of order,” interpreter Pete Naik said.

Patel said through Naik that the machines were rarely used.

“It was not frequently, just once in a blue moon,” he said.

Attorney Marc Chesnutt represents Gloria Bergman, who, as owner of Jean’s Place at 330 East Main St., is charged with one count of operating or possessing a slot machine and one count of allowing gambling in a public house.

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