BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Jeffrey Basil was working as the bar manager at Mollys Pub, according to the State Liquor Authority, when Bill Sager was assaulted, Sunday morning, May 11.
Basil, a convicted felon, was issued a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities on May 9, 2011. The order was signed by State Supreme Court Justice Penny Wolfgang.
The Certificate of Disabilities relieved “the holder of all disabilities and bars to employment, excluding the right to be eligible for public office.”
While not a pardon, it allowed Basil relief from forfeitures or anything else imposed by law, “by reason of his conviction of the crime,” of attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance.
A former attorney said the order was issued because Basil had not been arrested between his last arrest and 2011.
Years later, this same certificate allowed Mollys Pub to hire Basil as the bar manager, in January, 2014.
According to the State Liquor Authority, “The SLA has no role in the granting of Certificates of Relief.”
Additionally, “The SLA does not approve/disapprove managers for restaurants, licensees simply notify the SLA.”
Bar owners “may not knowingly employ convicted felons, unless they have a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities.”
According to a former lawyer, who represented Basil at the time the order was issued, Basil was having trouble dealing with financial institutions and banks, as a result of his conviction. A good relationship was imperative because Basil owned a debt collection business.
It’s unclear if Basil had any intentions, at that time, of getting into the business of bar management.
While the victim from an assault at Mollys Pub remains in a coma, his loved ones are fighting for him in court. There was a hearing in State Supreme Court Wednesday morning for the civil suit filed by the fiance of the victim, William Sager. His fiancee is trying to preserve evidence in the case.
At least two eyewitnesses told detectives they saw Jeffrey Basil push the Air National Guardsman down a flight of stairs inside the bar on Mother’s Day.
A source close to the investigation tells News 4 the video recovered from the bar shows a “shocking view of [Sager] landing,” then, three people dragging an unconscious Sager outside.
Meanwhile, the Buffalo Police Department has suspended two of its officers, without pay, as Internal Affairs investigates their conduct that night.