Law enforcement officers conduct a search and temporary closure of Studio 420 and other nearby businesses on March 29, 2024.

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ALTON - Just before the Alton Committee of the Whole meeting adjourned on Monday night, Alderman Raymond Strebel asked Mayor David Goins for an update on the Studio 420 situation. The controversial Alton business with a documented past of selling nicotine products to minors has been at the center of a criminal investigation and civil asset forfeiture city officials say is still ongoing, with few details ready to be made public.

Strebel said his constituents remain concerned that Studio 420’s business license still has not been revoked, and asked for any updated information available. Chief Ford said the investigation involves two parts - a criminal investigation and a civil asset forfeiture, both of which are “still pending.”

“There are things in progress and in the works, I’ve had several discussions with the Mayor’s Office,” Ford said. “I feel that as soon as we can - I know the corporate counselor’s out sick right now, so I’d like to get another meeting scheduled as soon as she’s available and take the next steps from there.”

Strebel then asked what he should tell residents concerned about Studio 420 still having a business license, including those who have filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on the subject.

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“I have residents that are very upset that they’re operating their license,” Strebel said. “These residents, they FOIA, they understand the citations that have been put on [Studio] 420, and they’re asking me why you have not revoked their business license. How would you like me to answer these residents?”

City Attorney Rodney Caffey replied: “You can tell them that it is a legal matter that’s pending.

“The city is working in conjunction with the State’s Attorney’s Office. There is information that’s still being sought that can’t be discussed publicly to jeopardize the case that the State’s Attorney’s Office is pursuing that’s being supported by the city and the Alton Police Department … you can tell your constituents in your Third Ward that it’s an ongoing legal matter, but measures are being taken against Studio 420.”

Strebel then asked whether the Mayor had the right to revoke Studio 420’s business license in the event the State’s Attorney’s Office doesn’t form a case against the business - and if so, why the mayor hasn’t done so already. Mayor Goins said the city is waiting on the other pending investigations to “go through the proper steps,” but assured him steps are being taken on the issue.

A full recording of the May 20, 2024 Alton Committee of the Whole meeting is available at the top of this story, on the Riverbender.com Facebook page, or on Riverbender.com/video.

All Alton Committee of the Whole meetings can be watched live or on demand on the Riverbender.com Facebook page or website, or on demand with your smart TV on theRiverbender.com ROKU channel and on theRiverbender.com YouTube channel.

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