Timothy Rankin, who owns several restaurant/bars in Albany, NY, was recently charged with hiring two men to beat up a food critic for the Albany Times Union. Steve Barnes and a friend were repeatedly punched as they were coming out of a restaurant by two glove-wearing men.
“My face is swollen and bloody,” blogged Barnes, who had apparently been critical of Rankin’s restaurants. The newspaper’s police reporter had also written that Rankin allegedly failed to pay $191,000 in taxes and that he had lost his liquor license after a raid at one of his restaurants found dozens of underage drinkers.
Rankin says he had nothing to do with the beatings of the food critic and plead not guilty to misdemeanor assault charges, which could land him in jail for up to a year if convicted.