Owner of The Library says he has money to stay open - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Owner of The Library says he has money to stay open

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Less than 24 hours after saying he was going to lose his liquor license and go out of business because of a delinquent tax bill, the owner of a controversial Five Points bar says he has found the money to settle his debt with the state and continue to operate.

Justin Kershner told WIS Friday afternoon that he has been able to scrape together nearly $20,000 to stay in business.

Reporter: "What changed?" Kershner: "I started making phone calls to people I know and found somebody that's willing to loan me the money."

On Thursday, Kershner told WIS he would lose his liquor license at 2 p.m. today because an agreement he had with the South Carolina Department of Revenue to pay back taxes in installments had mysteriously been canceled. He blamed the sudden change on Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott's recent targeting of The Library.

"I feel that I was accused convicted and basically hung within a 24 hour period," Kershner said. "And hopefully I'll get a reprieve from a check compared to somebody waiving charges or whatever. That's just not the American way. I mean you can't be accused convicted and committed that quickly. You just can't and I have been unfairly."

Lott unloaded on The Library during a news conference Thursday afternoon. He said members of his gang unit working during a special operation Oct. 26 were able to identify numerous members of a gang--many of them inside The Library.

The sheriff's department issued a statement Friday afternoon noting this week's arrests of five gang members linked to gang activity in Five Points.

The sheriff said security was poor and he thought the bar should be shut down.

When WIS last spoke Kershner, he was waiting to confirm the payment to SCDOR. He said it had to be done today. If so, he said the bar would remain open.

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