Shakers Saloon’s liquor license could be in jeopardy after alders voted Tuesday, Jan. 28, to hire an attorney to begin proceedings to possibly remove it.

A complaint against Shakers filed by police chief Greg Leck stated he is requesting the license be removed because owner Dale Kittleson was arrested on suspicion of selling cocaine there Dec. 18, 2019.

The complaint, filed with the city clerk’s office Jan. 28, says officers found 2.5 ounces of cocaine while searching Kittleson, in addition to methamphetamines in an office at Shakers, and what appeared to be a ledger showing names, dollar amounts and weights in Kittleson’s truck, parked at the bar.

Leck’s complaint says based on his experience, this indicates cocaine was being sold on the premises. The cocaine arrest, according to his complaint, showed Shakers was maintaining a “disorderly or riotous, indecent of improper house” when it allowed Kittleson to distribute illegal drugs at the bar.

Removing a liquor license is a complicated, sometimes expensive procedure governed by Wisconsin statute when there are no local ordinances. It typically requires what is known as a quasi-judicial hearing, with attorneys representing the prosecution and defense and often another acting as judge to help guide the Common Council (or another designated body) to a verdict.

Options if the licensee is found guilty include a suspension of 10-90 days, revocation or non-renewal.

The council voted to spend up to $10,000 for the services of Al Reuter, an attorney whose clients include several Dane County municipalities.

Syttende Mai liquor license

Alders voted to give the Chamber of Commerce an alcohol license for the upcoming spring’s Syttende Mai festival — with one holdout.

Celebrating Stoughton’s Norwegian heritage, the event traditionally includes a beer tent, but Ald. Sid Boersma (Dist. 1), expressed concern about the presence of alcohol at the popular annual event.

Boersma said Syttende Mai is a family event and he believes alcohol sales should not be a part of the festivities. He has voted against the license every year since the beer tent was established in 2015.

Meadows at Kettle Park West

Alders unanimously approved a rezoning amendment for the preliminary plat for the Meadows at Kettle Park West, a housing subdivision planned by the Forward Development Group as part of Phase II of the Kettle Park West Development. Phase I is anchored by the Super Wal-Mart.

Ald. Regina Hirsch (Dist. 3) expressed some concern that the names of the roads within the development were too similar, which might pose safety issues for emergency management services attempting to access the areas. Ald. Jean Ligocki (Dist. 2) had a similar concern about the name of the apartments being the same as the nearby senior living facility.

However, director of planning and development Rodney Scheel reassured them that street names could be addressed later in the process, and the names would not cause confusion because they are part of the same development.

Renee Hickman can be contacted at or follow her on Twitter at @ReneeNHickman