Magistrate Says Department Of Public Health May Revoke Joe's Seafood License
By: JAMES KINSELLA, August 1, 2014
A magistrate has opened the way for the state Department of Public Health to revoke the seafood dealer permit held by Joe’s Lobster Mart Inc. and its president, Joseph A. Vaudo of Sandwich.
In an order issued Monday, July 28, administrative magistrate Kenneth Bresler granted a motion for summary judgment sought by the state agency in the case.
Mr. Bresler agreed with the agency that no genuine issue of fact exists concerning the case, and further that Mr. Vaudo was convicted of crimes related to Joe’s seafood license.
As such, he said, the agency may move forward following a September 4 case hearing to revoke the permit.
The magistrate is hearing the case under the auspices of the state Division of Administrative Law Appeals.
The state health department already moved to revoke Joe’s wholesale seafood permit, as well as its certification on the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List, following Mr. Vaudo’s guilty plea March 28 in Barnstable District Court relating to his purchase last fall of stolen oysters.
Mr. Vaudo opposed the revocation, resulting in the current administrative appeals case before Mr. Bresler.
The magistrate wrote that he still will hold the September 4 hearing.
At that hearing, he wrote, Mr. Vaudo and Joe’s will be able to present evidence and arguments why the state health department “should not proceed against them as it is allowed to do so.”
But Mr. Bresler also wrote he will not allow Mr. Vaudo and Joe’s Lobster Mart at the September 4 hearing to reopen or reexamine Mr. Vaudo’s guilty pleas, directly or indirectly.
“If he believes that he improperly or improvidently pleaded guilty, this tribunal is not the proper forum to assert it,” the magistrate wrote.
He proceeded to write: “The hearing on September 4… will not be on the substantive merits of the notice of agency action, directly or indirectly. It will not be on legal issues.
“It will be the respondents’ opportunity to allocate, to argue to DPH why it should not proceed against them as it is allowed to,” Mr. Bresler wrote.