One Lewis County, Washington, Sheriff has had enough.
Sheriff Rob Snaza posted an interview to Facebook on December 23, where he questioned the science behind closing dining in Lewis County and voiced his support for a local restaurant that is in the midst of a standoff with the Governor.
Spiffy’s Restaurant in Lewis County, Washington, is now facing over $100,000 in fines as a result of allowing indoor dining, which is currently prohibited in the state. The restaurant has been in business for nearly 50 years and faces the threat of shutdown if it can’t continue its business, according to The Chronicle.
Snaza talked about the owner, Rod Samuelson, and said he had been a customer for 30 years: “During that time they’ve been open, they’ve been open to the community. They’ve opened their hearts whether it’s donations, whether it’s supporting families. And so knowing Rod’s story was huge in making the decision that I support Spiffy’s. And I know we have laws out there, we have all these things going on, but at the same time, what is right and what is wrong?”
He continued: “We need to stand up for our constitutional rights. So when we talk about these people, we’re talking about single moms, single parents, or dual-parent income, that both work at a restaurant. And all their livelihood is based on their business. And they’re losing that, simply because someone decided to change the rulebook.”
The statement comes days before Spiffy’s faces a hearing in Lewis County Superior Court, after the State Department of Labor and Industries sought a restraining order against the business.
L&I Spokesperson Tim Church told The Chronicle: ““It brings it into a whole other realm. If they continue to be open, we can make a motion for contempt of court.”
As The Chronicle notes:
Continuing to offer indoor dining in violation of the court order is considered a gross misdemeanor, punishable by $10,000 and up to six months in jail. It could also result in a contempt of court charge, which is a criminal charge. The order notes that L&I “has a clear legal right to enforce the requirements of the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act and the rules promulgated thereunder.”
Protesters and supporters are expected to rally outside the courthouse the day of the hearing.
“The ban on indoor service and dining has been hurtful to our community,” Snaza said. “Our economy is being shut down because our governor has elected to determine who is essential and who is not. And really, who has that? It seems that the people that have the paycheck are the ones that are determining who’s a non-essential.”
He concluded: “We need to stand up as conservatives, as Republicans. We need to stand up for our constitutional rights, and we need to say enough is enough, allow our people to go back to work. The data does not make sense. When I say don’t be a sheep, I mean don’t be a sheep. I mean listen to yourself. Check the facts out for yourself and make your own decision.”