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No Fine For Restaurant Where Whitmer Caught Skipping Social Distance

Health departments report no local restaurants fined as scofflaws

The restaurant now widely known as the place where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer violated her own executive orders will not be fined, according to the local health department. Officials indicate other establishments in the area have also not been fined for similar violations.

In a widely circulated photo from May, the governor was seen violating her own restaurant capacity orders at an East Lansing restaurant called the Landshark. Whitmer and 12 others can be seen in the photo sitting at tables that are pushed together, not practicing social distancing. Health department orders effective at the time stated, in part:

“Gatherings are prohibited at food service establishments, whether indoor or outdoor, unless:

  1. Consumption of food or beverages is permitted only in a designated dining area where patrons are seated, groups of patrons are separated by at least 6 feet, no more than 6 patrons are seated together (at a table, booth, or group of fixed seats), and groups of patrons do not intermingle.”

After the photo surfaced, questions arose whether the establishment would be cited for violating these orders. It will not be fined, according to the Ingham County Health Department, which has jurisdiction over the business. And according to officials, no East Lansing food establishments have been fined.

Linda Vail, health officer at the county health department, said in an email, “No citations have been issued to food service facilities In East Lansing. There have been just a few occasions where we have found, or received complaints about, facilities out of compliance with things such as capacity restrictions, table distance restrictions, etc. Each were corrected on site, or afterward if it was because of a complaint, through our usual process which involves education/consultation with the facility. Repeated violations/history of same violation would require increase in enforcement. All East Lansing facilities have been able to correct via our consultation/education process without the need for escalated enforcement.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.