Orchard Park gym fined for $15,000 files lawsuit against Gov. Cuomo

Orchard Park

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — A source tells News 4 that an Orchard Park gym that was fined $15,000 for violating COVID-19 regulations will not be open on Monday, after the owner made plans to defy state orders.

More than a week ago, gym owner Robby Dinero held a protest at Athletes Unleashed. Erie County Sheriff’s deputies and a health worker arrived at the protest, but were forced out by protesters.

In a later interview with Fox News, Dinero ripped up his $15,000 fine on air. This action was followed by the creation of a GoFundMe for Dinero.

Created by Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, that fundraiser has garnered more than $47,000, as of Monday morning.

Dinero had plans to host a Freedom Monday at the gym, but that plan is off now, a source tells News 4.

A lawsuit against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Department of Health and Empire State Development, claiming Cuomo did not have the authority to extend the order to shut gyms down past November 5, has been filed.

In the lawsuit, Athletes Unleashed claims Cuomo “has exceeded the limits imposed on his ability to issue directives” regarding the closure of gyms.

Specifically, the lawsuit challenges COVID-19-related directives that last longer than 30 days.

Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi has responded to the lawsuit, saying “We get sued virtually every day for virtually every action taken during this pandemic, and based on what you laid out, this entire argument is based on crackpot logic. We routinely extend executive orders as needed. That’s not unique to the pandemic.”

MORE | Read the entire lawsuit here.

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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