Feature

To Serve and Protect

The lunchtime rush has died down by the time Karl schiemann approaches the hostess stand at sevilla.

October 2003

He looks like a typical convention-goer who’s wandered over to the Denver Pavilions for a bite to eat. He’s carrying a clipboard and a yellow gizmo that could be a cell phone, but nothing else about him seems unusual.

Then he introduces himself to the hostess. “Hi, I’m Karl Schiemann with the Department of Health. I’m here for an inspection. Is the manager around?” He hands her a business card that reads “Senior Consumer Protection Inspector,” but to the hostess, all that matters is that he’s the guy from the health department.

She scurries off to find the manager, who is chatting with a guy at the bar. They confer and she heads into the kitchen. The manager looks toward Schiemann, gives him a nod, and says nonchalantly, “Let me just finish this up, I’ll be right with you.”

Schiemann’s heard this countless times. More likely than not, they’re trying to buy time and sound the alarm that an inspection is about to begin. But those extra few moments before Schiemann makes it to the kitchen won’t fix the problem that will close Sevilla that very afternoon.