TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin said on Friday that he will no longer enforce Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order shutting down businesses.
What spurred the county executive’s dissent was frustration over a clear path to reopening and mixed messages from the Governor’s office.
“I have businesses falling apart. I have drug abuse that is through the roof,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin said the sheriff and the health department will not enforce the law.
“It’s going to be fine. Who’s going to fine them?” McLaughlin said.
The Governor’s Office responded to McLaughlin in a statement to NEWS10 ABC: “He is bizarrely encouraging people to ignore the doctors and public health experts, and put their own well-being as well as the public health at risk.”
They added: “McLaughlin knows he doesn’t have the authority to do this.”
“I don’t think the state police are showing up to every business in Rensselaer County that opens. It’s an empty threat,” McLaughlin said.
The county executive warned businesses that have liquor licenses to weigh the risks before they decide to break the state law because their licenses could be taken away.
McLaughlin said people should continue to practice social distancing and wear face masks.
The Governor’s office said businesses could face fines as high as $10,000 for breaking the law.
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