Frustrated Kentucky Man Drives Into Cincinnati City Hall in Search of Mayor

Cincinnati City Hall, the scene of Thursday's incident.

Cincinnati City Hall, the scene of Thursday's incident. Max Herman /

Featured eBooks

The Financial Management Challenge
Cyber Threats: Preparing States and Localities
Issues in City and County Management

Connecting state and local government leaders

An 11-year zoning dispute with the city over a pony-keg drive-up liquor store led to Thursday’s drama.

A Kentucky man involved an 11-year-long zoning and permitting dispute with the city of Cincinnati involving his drive-up “pony keg” liquor store drove his Ford F-150 onto the steps of city hall in search of Mayor John Cranley on Thursday.

According to WCPO-TV, security personnel stopped William Jackson, 37, when he got out of his truck and demanded to see the mayor. Half of city hall was evacuated as a precaution.

Cranley wasn’t around, and like many other U.S. mayors, was in the nation’s capital for the National Conference of Mayors winter meeting.

The incident has prompted a security review of city hall and 700-pound barriers were positioned outside the building, according to WCPO-TV.

What’s Jackson’s pony-keg dispute about?

According to The Cincinnati Enquirer:

That Beverage Cave drive-through business has been in the center of Jackson's decade-long battle with Cincinnati City Council, zoning and legal departments. They violated city rules, a judge later ruled in Jackson's victorious lawsuit, to prevent Jackson from opening the pony keg at the corner of Montgomery Road and Kennedy Avenue, across from the Kennedy Heights Arts Center.

Although Jackson was victorious in court, the pony keg closed. And because zoning for the property had changed since he originally bought the building, no new similar drive-thru businesses are allowed there which is hampering his abilities to sell the property, according to the Enquirer.

And that led to Jackson’s most recent frustrations.

After Thursday’s incident on the steps of city hall, Jackson was charged with a misdemeanor charge of inducing panic.