Employees Betty Norris, Tina Lininger and Kim McCollough hold up their anti-drug protest signs under the archway of the indefinitely closed Hoolie’s Place restaurant.

Over the weekend of Oct. 5-6, the Hoolies Place restaurant and bar on Delta’s Main Street closed down, allegedly as a result of complications caused by Mike Levins. On Oct. 9, employees and regular patrons of Hoolies gathered around to protest the situation Levins left behind. The protest was a “drug-free Delta” demonstration, employee Betty Norris said. The employees made protest signs not only against drugs, but in a demand for Levins to fix the mess he left behind by paying his employees.

Levins, the person who is currently leasing Hoolies to own, was arrested in late September after a domestic violence situation with his wife. A search of his car south of Delta allegedly revealed four firearms, three of which had been reported stolen; about two grams of heroin; a total of 282 grams of meth, 21 grams of psilocybin mushrooms and a Taser.

Levins was jailed, but allegedly got out on bail when his bond dropped from $30,000 to $5,000. The business is now closed indefinitely because Levins claimed to be the owner of the establishment to law enforcement, yet allegedly he doesn’t have a liquor license in his name. In addition to that, according to the employees, they didn’t get paid all throughout the month of September, and still haven’t.

Bar Manager Tina Lininger and two other employees, Betty Norris and Kim McCollough, all said that Levins, who has only been a part of Hoolies since June, regularly took money from the business account for paychecks and restaurant supplies before he was arrested. The money he took never went into anything for the business and he rarely showed up during business hours, according to Lininger, Norris and McCollough.

According to Lininger, Levins called her as he was being arrested, asking Lininger to come get his car. Lininger arrived at the scene and the police told her to stay in her car as they proceeded to search Levins’ vehicle.

It wasn’t until after Levins got out on bail that he came to collect money once again from the business account, Lininger said, so she transferred the money to her own account to prevent him from doing so.

“From Oct. 2 to the 5 is when I had it put into my checking account,” Lininger said. “I drained my account, so we could run credit cards and stay in business all weekend.” Lininger said that she had only seen Levins at Hoolies “three or four times” during September. The other employees also indicated that this was the case.

“[The money] was into my account, and I was going to go put it into Becky’s account so they could get paid, but then he threatened me with embezzling and I said, ‘I’m not even messing with you, I’m going to the cops,’” Lininger said.

Lininger allegedly took the money to the Delta Police Department and was told that she did the right thing. None of the employees are suspects of any degree in the case.

Delta Police Department Public Information Officer Jamie Head confirmed that there is an open investigation involving Mike Levins and Hoolies Place. She could not yet confirm any of the allegations since the investigation is open.

Until the investigation is closed, the allegations are not official.

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