Neighbors Cry ‘Forgery!’ As Fat Baby Bar Owner Howls

Mr. Shamlian has yet one more reason to be upset: He has already been conditionally approved for a liquor license by the S.L.A.. In October 2006, the community board approved the initial application for Evan Ford’s license, and the S.L.A. provided a conditional letter of approval in December 2006.

This whole situation likely could have been avoided, though, if the board had the personnel to verify the names on the petition. However, with resources stretched thin, that is not an option.

“Absolutely not,” CB3 district manager Susan Stetzer said. “Not only do we not have the manpower to do something like that, but we are also not an investigative body. We take the names on good faith.”

Michael Smith, a public information officer at the S.L.A., would not disclose whether the names were individually checked during the application process, but did note that all submitted materials were looked at closely.

“Our licensing board takes into consideration all application materials,” Mr. Smith said. “We review all those materials thoroughly.”

While an imperfect gauge, the petition does play a part in the decision-making process, both Ms. Stetzer and Mr. Smith noted, as it indicates a neighborhood’s sentiments about a new place.

Mr. Shamlian is not worried about changing the system, though. His real qualm is that the allegations and the subsequent investigation could seriously delay the opening of Evan Ford.

“This investigation could tie things up for the next eight months,” Mr. Shamlian said. “I mean, this is my livelihood we’re talking about.”

Neighbors Cry ‘Forgery!’ As Fat Baby Bar Owner Howls