Appeal in the Works on Smoking Ban Exemption

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Orange County chapter of the American Heart Assn. has begun a campaign for the district attorney's office to appeal a ruling that a Fullerton bar can permit smoking because it has fewer than five employees.

"The judge's decision is based on a misreading of the law," said Nadine Wilk of the heart association's local board of directors.

Superior Court Judge Daniel McNerney ruled this month that Lucky John's can permit smoking, despite the state's 3-year-old ban on bar smoking, because it has fewer than five employees. Deputy Dist. Atty. Greg Robischon, in charge of writs and appeals for his office, said the association's input in the case is welcome, but he was planning to appeal anyway. The first step will be either to ask McNerney to review his own ruling or to take the case to the appellate division of Superior Court, Robischon said.

But because the issue is of statewide concern, it may eventually wind up at the state Court of Appeal, Robischon said.

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