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ATLANTA - Citing the inability to reach an agreement with Sam's Club over violations at one of its stores, the Georgia Department of Agriculture is calling the company in for a settlement conference on Thursday, Sept. 5 in Atlanta.
On Aug. 20, sanitarians for the Agriculture Department shut down the non-refrigerated foods section of the Sam's Club on Clairmont Road due to a mouse infestation. After days of negotiation, the Georgia Department of Agriculture said it has been unable to reach an agreement with Sam's Club regarding fines, probationary periods, and actions to be taken to prevent problems in the future.
At the meeting, both sides will present their cases before a settlement officer who will make a recommendation to the Commissioner of Agriculture regarding fines or actions required of the company. If the two sides do not reach an agreement at the settlement conference, the case will proceed to a formal administrative hearing in which the store's license can be revoked, according to the Agriculture Department.
"We have proposed fines of $566,000 with $80,000 to be paid now and the rest to be suspended provided there are no similar violations in a five-year probationary period," said Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin.