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Cafe Arizona manager won't be charged with witness tampering
"The King County Prosecutor's Office has decided not to file witness tampering charges against a Café Arizona manager.Café Arizona general manager Jay Song allegedly contacted a Denny's regional manager and said that if another manager testified at the hearing Denny's would be picketed.We determined there would not be enough evidence to pursue a charge against the suspect, said Prosecutor's Office spokesman Dan Donohoe. We felt there would be reasonable doubt as to the interpretation of the conversation and we would not be able to meet the requirements for proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt.Witness tampering is a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and as much as a $10,000 fine.The incident came to light in August, when an administrative law judge heard the cafe's appeal of a state Liquor Control Board decision to not renew its annual license. The judge ruled in the club's favor. The board will make a final ruling Jan. 10.During the hearing, Richard Page, the regional director of operations for Denny's restaurant, said Song paged him on the morning of Aug. 15.When Page called him, Song said he was aware that area manager Randy Schuler was planning to testify at the hearing a couple of days later. Song told Page an association of black people planned to picket Denny's, according to hearing testimony.Song also allegedly mentioned the dance club had a good relationship with an area radio station that would cover the picketing news and that it would be very bad for business, Page testified.Song also offered to send several of his own security guards to the restaurant to help maintain order until the crowd cleared away, Page said.He said to me, 'If you can prevent this testimony or if Denny's will not testify, then we can work something out as far as me helping you out in controlling the crowd, Page testified.Page said he called Song later to tell him his employees were under subpoena to appear at the administrative law hearing.And he said, 'Well, then they have to show up, but they don't have to say that our clientele is causing trouble,' Page said.Song said he didn't tell Page he had control over the actions of any people who might be unhappy with Denny's and picket as a result. He said he didn't say Denny's would benefit if employees appeared but altered their testimony.Song testified during the hearing that he offered the assistance of Café Arizona's security guards because people who had come from the club probably would be more likely to listen to them. "