Orchard Park gym owner slapped with $15,000 fine after violating new COVID restrictions

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB)–Erie County is coming down hard on the owner of a fitness center in Orchard Park.

Robby Dinero says the county slapped him with a $15,000 fine for defying government orders to shut down his business and getting into a confrontation with sheriff’s deputies and an inspector for the health department trying to close him down.

Last Friday night Dinero held a protest at his gym. Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies and a health worker showed up and the group of protesters forced them out.

Video of the incident has gone viral. Tuesday, Dinero went on Fox News with a crowd of people standing behind him and announced that fine.

“The sheriff’s came again, escorting a department of health official. I told them to get off my property. I told them there are procedures they need to follow. This is after hours. And they have no right to be on my property without a warrant. They say they wanted to come back and that he wanted to deliver this piece of paper. I said nope, it’s after hours – you can make an appointment. He taped it to the door. I finished kicking him off my property and I opened it up and it is a fine for 15,000 thousand dollars.”

Later in the interview, Dinero ripped up that sheet of paper. Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw has set up a go-fund-me to pay for Dinero’s fine.

It’s already raised more than nine-hundred dollars. We’ve reached out to the Erie County Executive’s office and the health department for comment and we still have not heard back from them.

The Erie County Department of Health provided a statement on the penalty for Athletes Unleashed Wednesday afternoon saying:

On Tuesday, November 24, a public health sanitarian from the ECDOH Division of Environmental Health delivered a stipulation document to Athletes Unleashed. An individual who identified himself as the owner refused to accept delivery, and the document was taped to the front door of the business. The stipulation charged this facility with violations of New York State Public Health Law, New York State Rules and Regulations, Executive Orders And New York State Sanitary Code, 10 NYCRR Subparts 66-3.3(a) and (d). Those charges were related to a non-essential gathering of approximately 40 people on November 20, 2020 that was verified by an ECDOH inspection. At the time of the inspection on November 20, 2020, the facility address was located within a NYS Cluster Action Initiative Orange Zone, as defined by NYS Executive Order 202.68, with a non-essential gathering limit of 10 persons. Further, during a non-essential gathering, the business owner, building owner and those otherwise authorized on their behalf, or otherwise authorized to use the building did not deny entry to attendees who were not wearing a face covering, as verified by an ECDOH inspection. The stipulation included notice of a civil penalty in the amount of $15,000 to be paid by December 19, 2020.”

Erie County Department of Health

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