The state Department of Public Health is seeking to revoke the permit held by Joe’s Lobster Mart Inc. on Canal Road to engage in the retail and wholesale processing and/or distribution of seafood.
The state agency further is seeking to revoke the corporation’s certification for listing on the interstate certified shellfish shippers list.
The department served a notice of action Tuesday on the corporation and its owner and president, Joseph A. Vaudo.
Mr. Vaudo, 62, who lives on Route 6A in East Sandwich, has operated Joe’s Lobster Mart for 41 years. He is chairman of the planning board and is running for reelection to a three-year term in the May 8 town election.
The state agency took its action in the wake of Mr. Vaudo’s guilty plea March 28 in Barnstable District Court to crimes related to the operation of his seafood business.
Mr. Vaudo, 62, of Route 6A, pleaded guilty to a fishery report violation, receiving property in false trade, and willfully misleading a police investigation.
The charges stemmed from his purchase of oysters from Michael E. Bryant, 37, of West Yarmouth last October.
A Barnstable County grand jury has indicted Mr. Bryant on several charges, including larceny of property and shellfishing in a contaminated area.
Police say Mr. Bryant stole juvenile oysters last summer from shellfish farms in Dennis and from a Town of Barnstable propagation site in the Marstons Mills River.
In court documents, police said Mr. Bryant drove to Joe’s Lobster Mart last October and sold Mr. Vaudo oysters.
When police entered the business just after the sale and asked Mr. Vaudo about the transaction, he denied buying the oysters from Mr. Bryant or even knowing the man.
By his guilty plea March 28 at Barnstable District Court, Mr. Vaudo admitted that his statement to police that October day was false.
In the notice of agency action, Michael Moore, director of the food protection program in the Bureau of Environmental Health at the Department of Public Health, said Mr. Vaudo falsified records related to his purchasing of seafood is a violation of state regulations.
“Wherefore, the department revokes the permit and decertifies your [interstate shipper’s certification],” Mr. Moore stated.
Joe’s Lobster Mart has 14 days from the date of notice, or until April 29, to challenge the department’s action.
Mr. Vaudo did not return calls from The Sandwich Enterprise yesterday to his business and his home seeking comment.
Department spokesman Omar Cabrera said yesterday that if Joe’s appeals the notice, any shutdown would be stayed until the appeal is decided.
Mr. Cabrera said the appeal would go to the state Division of Administrative Law Appeals.
Any ultimate shutdown, Mr. Cabrera said, would take effect upon final agency action by the department.