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Keel & Curly winery has plenty of experience in civil court

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A vendor who provided products to Keel & Curley Winery in Plant City is suing its owner, Joe Keel, for failing to remit payment for those goods amounting to more than $30,000.

Keel & Curley allegedly failed to pay for things like beer kegs, wine yeast and polyethersulfone, a solution used to remove bacteria.

The lawsuit also seeks more than $23,000 from Two Henrys Brewing company for also failing to remit payments for goods.

Keel should know his way around the civil litigation process. This isn’t the first time he’s found himself listed on a lawsuit.

Earlier this year, Keel accused Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham of collaborating to keep him from being able to operate his winery. Keel filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics.

Higginbotham was cleared of the allegations in April.

Then, last month, the Hillsborough County Commission voted 6-1 in favor of petitioning the ethics board to force Keel to pay nearly $10,000 in legal fees incurred defending Higginbotham against Keel’s allegations.

Last year Keel sued two neighborhood activists who opposed rezoning the winery property in order to allow beer sales. In two separate lawsuits he alleged William Woodall Ray Young damaged his reputation by spreading lies about his business and professional reputation.

What’s most interesting is the beer brewing company Keel is now suing is the same Two Henry’s Brewing Keel sought to protect in the lawsuit last year. He had just launched the brewery onsite in 2013 and wanted to be able to sell its beer.

Two Henry’s Brewing is owned by K & C Cork and Bottle LLC, not Keel.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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