SAUGERTIES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Saugerties Police Department issued a cease and desist order to NJA Auctions for conducting business and inviting customers to relax social distancing protocols.

Police say the violation of the NY on PAUSE directive took place throughout the weekend, and issued the cease and desist on Monday.

Police say they received 13 complaints about NJA Auctions being open for business, with many customers present. Signs on the doors advised that wearing face coverings was not mandatory and that social distancing was enforced.

The Saugerties Building and Police Departments served a cease and desist order to the owner, closing the business until the governor’s non-essential business orders expire or are rescinded.

“Failure by NJA Auctions to comply with the Building Department Order in addition to the Governor’s Executive Order, will result in law enforcement action in the form of criminal charges lodged against the owner and anyone else found to be in violation of the law.”

Chief Joseph A Sinagra

The Hudson Valley has not yet reached the appropriate benchmarks to begin phase one of reopening, and operating a non-essential business—like NJA Auctions, which is a retail store—is not yet permitted. Even if the region had received clearance to begin phase one, reopening plans all include maintaining conscientiously wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing where possible.

Owner Steve Jolley took to Facebook to defend himself:

Take a look at the cease and desist order below: