Big-name lawyer to represent embattled bar

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By Damon Lawrence

High-profile Knoxville attorney Greg Isaacs said he’s been hired by the owner of an embattled Roane County bar to represent him at next week’s meeting of the Roane County Beer Board.

“We’re in the process of investigating allegations,” Isaacs said. “In fact, my investigators were down in Roane County yesterday (Monday) and will be there today (Tuesday).”

Grover Norton owns the Grill & Pub on Hwy. 61. County officials have described the establishment north of Harriman as a haven for trouble. A homicide occurred outside the bar last month.

“I want it shut down,” Roane County Commissioner Fred Tedder said.

“I have received numerous calls from people in my district complaining about the (Grill & Pub),” Commissioner Randy Ellis said.

Last week County Attorney Tom McFarland filed a petition to revoke Norton’s beer permit. He said he did so at the recommendation of Sheriff Jack Stockton.
“We’re going to file a written response shortly,” Isaacs said.

The beer board is scheduled to hear the petition on Aug. 15 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Roane County Courthouse in Kingston.   

McFarland said the beer board has options besides straight-out revocation.  

“There may be something in the middle, such as some kind of plan to rectify the problems they have,” he said.
“We’ll just have to wait and see if they make any kind of proposal.”

Norton’s stepson is Steven Robinette. In 2008 Isaacs represented Robinette in his successful efforts to obtain the cellphone records of Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham.

Robinette said he’s glad Isaacs is representing his stepfather on the permit issue.  

“I think we’ll get everything straightened out, and I think things will get done fairly,” Robinette said.