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In Lycoming County businesses have been given the ok from local leaders to open their doors. The District attorney, Ryan C. Gardner, acknowledges that small businesses are essential for their economy and he would rather focus on actual criminals.
“Business owners who were required to initially close their doors due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and who now struggle with the decision whether to re-open for fear of prosecution falls far short of any criminal conduct that this Office is willing to expend resources to prosecute,”
– DA Ryan Gardner
In Lycoming County there has been an increase in drug activity and violent crime and Gardner would rather allocate the county’s resources to prosecuting those criminals.
“Business owners in this position are not criminals and it is unfair to hang over their heads the threat of prosecution for violation of the Governor’s orders to remain closed despite this County’s recent ‘yellow’ designation,”
– Ryan Gardner
Gardner did warn business that while they will not face criminal prosecution they could still face civil consequences imposed by Governor Wolf.
“The governor has jurisdiction to impose civil consequences that could include the revocation of licenses, the imposition of fines and the ability to scrutinize state mandated insurance policies,”
– Ryan Gardner
Gardener did remind business owners and residents of Lycoming County to be mindful that the virus is still out there and to follow guidelines from the health department.