04/28/10 — Director, ex-guard not guilty in raid at concert

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Director, ex-guard not guilty in raid at concert

By Staff Reports
Published in News on April 28, 2010 1:46 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Former Duplin Events Center Executive Director John Vogt and former security guard Donald Farrior were found not guilty Friday of charges stemming from a raid by North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement on a Jan. 28 Willie Nelson concert at the center.

The two men were charged with resisting, delaying and obstructing an inspection of an ABC licensed venue after attempting to stop several ALE agents from gaining access backstage before the concert.

According to a press release from VenuWorks, the agency previously contracted to operate the events center, Vogt had instructed Farrior and others not to allow anyone backstage without a backstage pass -- in part because of a history of law enforcement officers attempting to use their authority to gain access.

Also according to the press release, the defense argued there was never a true attempt to make an inspection of the venue -- that no inspection was made of the four bars set up to serve alcohol and Vogt was never contacted about an inspection being made.

The verdict was rendered by Judge Henry L. Stevens IV based on insufficient evidence that either defendant intended or committed any act to delay or obstruct an inspection.

Since the incident, the Duplin County Board of Commissioners has terminated the contract with VenuWorks, effective April 30 -- three months before it was scheduled to end.