STOUGHTON (CBS) – A repeat drunk driver caught by the I-Team driving without a license may be in hot water with Boston licensing officials and local police.
Boston bar owner James Rooney of Stoughton failed to reveal his criminal convictions to liquor licensing officials and now he’s also the target of a criminal investigation in his hometown.
“People who drive after suspension or revocation are outlaws on the road plain and simple,” said Stoughton Police Chief Paul Shastany.
Shastany said his department has opened a criminal investigation into Rooney based on an I-Team story this week which caught him on video behind the wheel even though the state has suspended his license until 2016 because of his drunk driving convictions.
“If he can’t monitor his own behavior it’s our job to do that,” the chief said. “We have rules and laws we have to adhere to to make it safe for everyone and it frustrates me when we do everything we can and people scoff at the law.”
The I-Team recorded Rooney driving around his hometown of Stoughton and pulling into this liquor store on the Cape, buying two 12-packs of beer, and driving away.
According to records filed with the Boston Licensing Board, Rooney recently applied for a liquor license for a new bar on Commonwealth Ave. in Boston.
When he filled out the application in August, he was asked if he had ever been convicted of any crimes. He answered “no,” but after our story Monday night, he changed that answer to “yes.”
In an amendment filed with licensing officials, Rooney said he was confused by the criminal background question and went on to disclose his three OUI cases.
After he learned of our investigation Rooney also filed paperwork to remove his name as manager of the Baseball Tavern, a bar near Fenway Park owned by Rooney and members of his family.
“It seems like he’s lucky he hasn’t been hurt or hurt someone else? He’s rolling the dice and gambling with other people’s lives as well,” said chief Shastany.
The Boston Licensing Board will hold hearings on Rooney’s liquor licenses next month.
Stoughton police are working with the Norfolk District Attorney’s office to build a possible criminal case against Rooney.