FARMINGTON — Farmington's Community Relations Commission will decide tonight whether a discrimination complaint will be referred to a mediator.
Ray Steigelman submitted complaints to the commission alleging that Tequila's Restaurant and Bar, the Region Hotel and the Dollar General store discriminated against him because he has a service dog.
Commission interviews with the businesses found conflicting stories.
"When there's a clear-cut complaint that's a conflict between a business and an individual, the commission can refer the situation to a (professional) mediator," said Bob Campbell, assistant city manager, in a phone interview on Friday. "We had received a complaint from Ray Steigelman several months ago, but the commission has come up with some information that conflicts with the complaint."
Commissioner Elizabeth Volkerding investigated the allegations against Tequila's Restaurant and the Region Inn in early March, according to an email provided to The Daily Times.
She spoke to the waiter serving Steigelman, the owner of Tequila's and the restaurant manager.
Steigelman was a customer in the restaurant on Feb. 10, 2013, according to the report. He was allowed into the restaurant with his service dog and was served two margaritas.
According to the report, Steigelman became very loud and was asked not to yell. He requested a third margarita but was declined based on his behavior.
The waiter said that Steigelman has a brain injury that causes him to have seizures and had a seizure before in the restaurant. He said he did not ask Steigelman to leave because of his service dog, and that the dog is welcome in the restaurant.
Steigelman then went to the Region Inn front desk and started an argument. The police were contacted, and he was removed from the premises in handcuffs.
"I spoke with Darlene Cambridge, the manager of the Dollar General store, and was informed that the owner would not be available to attend the meeting," said Commissioner Neil Johnson's report. "I was also informed that she had spoken to the person in question about the situation in the store, and the situation had been resolved, but the person in question still comes in the store and harasses one of her clerks. They let him come in with this dog, but he agitates the clerks every time he comes in."
Greg Yee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4606. Follow him on Twitter @GYeeDT.