Code Violation

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 30, 2010

City cites restaurant with code violations

By Emily Williams

A store manager for the Pizza Hut restaurant in Batesville was told his store would be closed if he failed to comply with the city’s fire code requirements.

The restaurant’s emergency lighting and exits were not operable, according to a city official.

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Restaurant manager Michael D. Smith, of Grenada, appeared before Judge Jay Westfaul Wednesday to answer the charges.

 Westfaul sat on the bench during Batesville Municipal Court.

“I don’t want to have to close the Pizza Hut,” the judge told Smith.

After Smith laughed at the suggestion, the judge scolded him, explaining that the fire violation was a serious situation and the restaurant would be closed if the violations were not fixed.

The judge then fined the restaurant $250.

The violations were corrected before opening time at 11 a.m. Wednesday, said Batesville firefighter Brett Childs, who serves as city fire inspector.

Childs presented the code violation case to the court.

Childs told The Panolian that the restaurant had failed an inspection on April 21 and a follow-up inspection on April 28.

Smith had failed to appear for a prior court appearance, when the court ordered a letter be sent instead of issuing a warrant.

He was also late for court Wednesday.