JOHN W MOORE, Complainant
CITY OF MADISON, Respondent A
RAY FISHER, CITY CLERK, Respondent B
An administrative law judge (ALJ) for the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development issued a decision in this matter. A timely petition for review was filed.
The commission has considered the petition and the positions of the parties, and it has reviewed the evidence submitted to the ALJ. Based on its review, the commission agrees with the decision of the ALJ, and it adopts the findings and conclusion in that decision as its own.
The decision of the administrative law judge (copy attached) is affirmed.
Dated and mailed September 26, 2002
moorejo . rsd : 164 : 9
/s/ David B. Falstad, Chairman
/s/ James A. Rutkowski, Commissioner
/s/ Laurie R. McCallum, Commissioner
In his petition for commission review the complainant argues that Respondent A is a place of public accommodation based upon "vendition" activity involving the use of professional venders, vending machines, and human sellers of services for consideration to the public. This argument fails. The complainant has not elaborated upon his assertions, and the commission is uncertain as to why he believes Respondent A uses "professional venders" or "human sellers of services for consideration to the public," as described in his petition. While it is certainly possible that there are vending machines in the City Clerk's office, it is clearly not the function of the City Clerk's office to sell sodas or snacks to the public, notwithstanding the possible presence of vending machines on the premises. The City Clerk's office does not operate in order to provide goods or services to individuals, and the commission sees no reason to conclude that it, or the City Clerk, who is separately named as Respondent B, is a public place of accommodation or amusement, as that term is defined in Wis. Stat. § 106.52(1)(e)1.
In his petition the complainant also argues that the administrative law judge has applied a novel construction to the statute by concluding that a corporation is not a place of public accommodation and by using the doctrine of ejusdem generis instead of beginning with the language of the statute itself. Again, this argument fails. The administrative law judge's decision does not hold that a corporation is not a place of public accommodation, nor does it ignore the plain language of the statute. Because the commission believes that the administrative law judge correctly applied the statute to the facts of this case in determining that the respondents are not places of public accommodation, the dismissal of the complaint is affirmed.
Attorney Steven C. Zach
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