August 28, 2014

Elyria
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Gas USA owner promises a clean business

ELYRIA – Gas USA has a new owner who has pledged to operate the station free of drugs and crime.

“I`m 29 and a clean guy – you can check me out,” Jad El Ghazal said.

CINDY LEISE / CHRONICLE
Jad El Ghazal is the new owner of Gas USA on Middle Avenue.

A native of Lebonon, El Ghazal, who lives in Cuyahoga Falls with his wife, Danielle, a 6-year-old son and a 6-month-old daughter, has no liquor violations at El Ghazal Sunoco, a business he has operated since March in Massillon.

Chris Baker of the South Elyria Neighborhood Development Corp., a nonprofit group with the goal of improving the South Side, said she would keep an open mind about the new owner.

SEND has criticized operations under the past two owners, and Baker said she hopes El Ghazal is serious about keeping the business free of drugs and other crime.

Nearly 20 witnesses testified against a liquor license for Gas USA during a hearing in August. At that hearing, Assistant Elyria Law Director Michael Szekely produced a Cleveland police report and questioned Gill`s husband about underage liquor sales and sales of marijuana at one of the stores operated by his wife at 11625 Superior Ave.

At that same hearing, Elyria Councilman Herman Larkins, D-5th Ward, supported Gills` application, saying the neighborhood needed to maintain convenience businesses.

Contact Cindy Leise at 653-6250 or cleise@chroniclet.com.