Quinn, Fatima’s attorney, said his client has been in business 21 years with only a few complaints, and only this current one, he believed, involving the payment of money.
Chairman Robert St. Pierre said the board was in a “legal conundrum,” because it didn’t have any official complaints, or persons bringing complaints before it, and was dealing with alleged violations that took place when the business was not licensed. If it denied the license, St. Pierre said the city likely would lose in court.
While “reluctantly” recommending the probationary period through the rest of the year, St. Pierre issued a stern warning to business owner Harry Mitchell.
“You’re responsible for every one of your readers,” St. Pierre said. “And it appears to me that your readers are taking advantage of people in a bad state who are vulnerable.”
Legal technicalities, he said, are allowing Fatima’s to “escape ... the wrath of this board.”
Officials reminded Mitchell that the city fortunetelling ordinance does not allow a reader to charge money to remove hexes, or to remove hexes for any reason.
“This has to stop, because it can result, or most likely will result, in criminal charges,” Page said.
In a separate action, the board “reluctantly” renewed the licenses of two of Fatima’s readers, Fatima Mitchell and Tammy Mitchell, through the end of the year. The business did not request a license renewal for a third family member, Debbie Mitchell, the subject of the active complaint.
Harry Mitchell was told to return in December to request license renewals for next year.
Tom Dalton can be reached at email@example.com.