By Don Cazentre
BARRINGTON, NY -- It’s a beer drama that never seems to end.
It’s been four years since an upscale food market overlooking Keuka Lake attempted to add a beer tap room and deck to its offerings. The Olney Place, on Route 54 in the Yates County town of Barrington, waged an ultimately successful legal battle with town officials and the State Liquor Authority, and even persuaded town voters to overturn a partial ban on alcohol sales.
The taps began pouring beer last spring. Now, the former Barrington codes enforcement officer at the center of the dispute is facing a criminal charge related to the case.
John Griffin was charged by state police Dec. 29 with a midemeanor count of second-degree offering a false instrument for filing, according to a report in the Finger Lakes Times. Griffin, who lost his job with the town in 2017, is due to be arraigned in Barrington Town Court Jan. 16.
Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella told the Finger Lakes Times via email that Griffin, when he was codes officer, had issued two certificates of occupancy to The Olney Place and one of them was false.
“Both became parts of the record of the town, so he is charged with offering a false instrument for filing,” Casella told the Times. "There has been a lot of litigation regarding The Olney Place, but the criminal charge only deals with the issue of the false certificate of occupancy.”