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Glenmont restaurateur goes to trial

The issue started in early 2007, according to Quinn, after Chili's Restaurant moved into the area and Quinn's usual lunch crowd began to dissipate. He then decided to put up two banners advertising a lunch buffet special underneath his permanent businesses sign. Quinn said he got the lunch crowd back as a result.

"We took lunch back from Chili's people were parking on the grass, it was so busy," Quinn said. "Then Gil told me to take down the banners, and we got into a little argument over sign violations."

Continuing, Quinn said that Boucher is a friend of a Chili's manager and that he eats there several times a week, but when he confronted Boucher about the conflict of interest Boucher allegedly responded, "Don't discuss Chili's. I eat there three times a week."

Quinn also contends that Boucher told him he filed the complaint against Quinn after photographing the sign violation, and that Chili's did not file the complaint.

Quinn said he is "fighting to survive" as a businessman.

Chili's declined comment, but when The Spotlight asked to speak with a manager, a man who would only identify himself as "Jason," said he was unaware of the situation, but there are four managers at the restaurant.

"Nobody's friends with anyone here, we're friendly with all of our customers," the manager said. "It's called hospitality; that's why people like coming here."

Boucher could not be reached for comment, but Supervisor Jack Cunningham said no comment on the building inspector's behalf, saying the matter was currently under litigation.

"He had a banner in violation of the zoning code. We do enforce our codes," Cunningham said of Quinn's citation. "I've heard these wild accusations before, and it's not germane to the trial."

Cunningham also said it was "extraordinarily uncommon" for a zoning violation to end up in a jury trial, saying, "My understanding is that it's not criminal."

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