The former head of the Howard County Alcoholic Beverage Board is facing a felony charge of impersonating a public servant after a local bartender said Lance Rice claimed to be an Indiana Excise Police officer.
According to Kokomo Police, Rice was drinking with friends in the early morning hours of Dec. 15 at the Elbow Room bar on North Washington Street when the bartender made last call.
“Lance called the waitress over and explained to her that he was the president of the alcohol commission for Howard County and that he would be staying a little extra late tonight,” according to the probable cause affidavit filed in Howard Superior Court 3.
When told he couldn’t stay, Rice told Elbow Room staff that he was an excise officer and “began demanding to see her alcohol licensing,” according to the affidavit.
Staff members then told Rice he was drunk and asked him to leave, police said.
Police were called after Rice refused to leave and, according to the officer who responded, Rice denied claiming to be an excise officer but did acknowledge telling the bar staff he was the head of the local liquor board.
Rice said “he would be seeking to revoke their license. He then went on to tell me about some licensing that he is currently trying to revoke in town and about how he’s trying to clean the town up,” wrote Officer Jeramie Dodd.
Bar staff said Rice made the alleged excise claim more than once and pulled out his wallet, showing some sort of alcohol commission card, claiming it was proof he was with excise, according to the police report. The bar staff also said the entire incident was on video.
The Howard County Prosecutor’s office eventually decided to charge Rice with a felony, but instead of being arrested on the charge in March, a court summons was issued.