TOBY TWP. – Three local residents are facing charges for their alleged involvement in illegal gambling practices at a Toby Township bar.
Robert Ernest Dougherty, 73, and Janet L. Dougherty, 55, both of Rimersburg, and Kandi Lynn Simpson, 32, of Sligo, were charged with setting up and maintaining poker machines in Savelli’s Tavern for gambling purposes.
While undercover at Savelli’s Tavern on Dec. 21, 2017, and Jan. 18, Feb. 3 and Feb. 15, 2018, Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement officers said they observed two Dodge City video poker machines set up and operating in the establishment along Huey Road.
During the visit on Dec. 21, 2017, a male patron was reportedly observed winning 400 credits on one of the machines and acknowledging Simpson, who was the bartender at the time.
According to police, Simpson punched some buttons on the machine and retrieved money from the cash register, handing the patron a $50 bill and other unidentified pieces of currency.
On Feb. 15, officers allegedly observed the same machines, positively identified by matching VPM numbers, again being used by patrons at Savelli’s Tavern.
Following multiple visits, a warrant to search the bar was served at approximately 11:30 a.m. on March 2. Janet Dougherty, a PLCB approved manager at Savelli’s, allegedly admitted that illegal gambling had been taking place inside the tavern.
During a separate interview on April 4, Robert Dougherty reportedly told police that he was aware of the gambling machines in the bar and that they have been there for several years. He also said that as a PLCB-approved manager, Janet Dougherty completes all duties as required.
Robert Dougherty allegedly admitted to owning the gambling machines, but refused to answer any questions regarding customer payouts.
Simpson, who police said has worked at the bar for six years, allegedly admitted to bartending on Dec. 21 when the gambling was first observed and to paying the patron from the cash register.
All charges were filed May 9 by Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement Officer Leann M. Miles with District Judge Jeffrey C. Miller.