Business

Minnesota Sues 6 Restaurants to Prevent Them From Reopening

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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Sunday announced that his office has filed a lawsuit against Shadys, a chain of six bars and restaurants that said it plans to reopen before the states lockdown on hospitality businesses is lifted.

Ellison said in a statement that for Shadys to resume operations would violate Gov. Tim Walzs executive order (pdf), which recently extended the temporary closure of bars, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation until May 31, with Walz noting in the order that “the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present an unprecedented and rapidly evolving challenge to our state.”

As of May 17, 15,668 Minnesotans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, the novel coronavirus that emerged from Wuhan, China, and spread across the world. A total of 722 Minnesotans have died from the disease as of May 17.

Minnesota authorities are working on a plan, to be released by May 20, for a phased reopening of hospitality industry establishments starting on June 1, the order notes.

Epoch Times Photo Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 1, 2017. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Ellison said Sunday he filed an enforcement action (pdf) against six Shadys bars and restaurants located in Albany, Burtrum, Cold Spring, New Munich, Rice, and St. Martin. All are located in or near Stearns County, which has the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota. The lawsuit also names owner Kris Schiffler individually as a defendant.

“A handful of bar and restaurant owners have said they dont want to wait any longer and want to reopen illegally,” Ellison said, noting that his office had contacted Schiffler, warning him that opening ahead of the to-be-released schedule “would be both dangerous to the public health and in violation of Executive Order 20-56.” He said after initially agreeing to delay reopening, Schiffler made public statements intending to reopen despite the lockdown.

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“The owner of Shadys, however, has declared his intention to break the law and endanger his customers and employees—in Stearns County, with the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota. My office has the duty to enforce the law and the governors order, to protect Minnesotans health, and to protect businesses that are complying with the order from unfair competition. I take that duty seriously,” Ellison wrote.

Schiffler, meanwhile, said in a Facebook video posted Sunday that his Albany location had been adapted to operate in compliance with social distancing guidelines, and would be opening for on-premises consumption at noon Monday.

He said the hospitality industry has suffered enough under the lockdowns and that he launched a campaign to mount a legal challenge to the state in its decision to continue the shutdowns.

“We are using it for our attorney, but our attorneys fight right now is to get rid of the whole thing, not just bars and restaurants,” Schiffler said in the video. “Were talking salon owners, and houseboat owners and resort owners. Every kind of small business. These guys, everybodys ready to go. Were prepared.”

In a statement on a GoFundMe page, which at the time of reporting had raised over $176,000, campaign orgRead More – Source