A state hearing on the fate of Best Liquors‘ booze license has been pushed back until March.

An administrative law judge with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control division granted a request, submitted yesterday by the store’s attorney, asking for an adjournment. The hearing was to have been held tomorrow.

Lawyer Samuel ‘Skip’ Reale Jr. wrote to Judge Joseph Martone that he has been “retained to defend a law enforcement officer in a high profile matter” and would be unable to make tomorrow’s hearing. He said he had been unable to find a replacement to stand in for him.

In a reply, Martone said he was “surprised” by the request and noted that the Dec. 18 date had been “difficult to obtain.” Nonetheless, he slotted the hearing for the next available date, March 5.

That is the date the hearing was originally scheduled for. But seeking swifter action, Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck of Red Bank lobbied Attorney General Anne Milgram for an earlier date, which put the matter on the calendar for tomorrow.

At issue is the Red Bank Borough Council’s unanimous decision early last summer to repeal the store’s license to sell alcohol after half a dozen police complaints about the sale of booze to minors and other infractions.

Neighbors of the store have also called for it to be shut down as a nuisance that attracts loiterers, cars with stereos playing loudly, prostitutes and litterers.

Reale is said to be representing one of the State Troopers accused of sexual assault by a female Rider University student last week.

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