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Mpls. council committee OKs larger fine, shorter suspension for Surdyk's

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Surdyk's liquor
Surdyk's liquor
AP file

A Minneapolis City Council committee on Tuesday approved a larger fine but shorter license suspension for a liquor store owner who started Sunday sales early.

Under the plan, Jim Surdyk will pay a $50,000 penalty and will have to close his store the first three Sundays in July. It goes before the full city council next week.

Surdyk opened his shop on Sunday, March 12 — shortly after state lawmakers repealed Minnesota's ban on Sunday alcohol sales, but before the change takes effect in July.    Last month, council members rejected a $6,000 fine and 10-day license suspension as too lenient

Jacob Frey, a council member and mayoral candidate, said the new agreement is a better deal for Surdyk's workers.

"I think we struck the right balance. We are a city of laws. And when laws are significantly broken, there needs to be some form of penalty," he said. "But that penalty should accrue to the decision maker and not the employees who had nothing to do with it."

Surdyk's attorney Dennis Johnson said his client will abide by the agreement.