AG's Office 'Troubled' by Newport Business Not Following Mask Mandate

 The UPS store located on Main Street in Newport City is allegedly not in compliance with Governor Phil Scott's order to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The store posted a sign on the store  that states: "We choose not to wear a mask...please don't ask us to..."

According to Newport City Police Chief Travis Bingham his officers have approached the owner Mike Desautels on several occasions after receiving complaints.

Beginning August 1, 2020 cloth face coverings were required in Vermont when in public places.

"It's a flat out no," Bingham said of their efforts to educate Desautels and encourage him to comply. The executive order can't be enforced by law enforcement agencies, but it can by the Vermont Attorney General's office.

Bingham has forwarded the complaints to the Attorney General's office.

 Governor Phil Scott said there are repercussions for non-complying businesses but prefers to settle the issue through education. 

Desautels was reached by telephone on Tuesday afternoon. He had no comment for the press.

 The Attorney General's Office in a written correspondence Wednesday said  their office "is troubled by the behavior of this business and is communicating with local law enforcement."

"We continue to urge all Vermonters and Vermont businesses to do the right thing and follow the Governor's Executive Order. When it comes to enforcement, our first step is always to provide education and outreach with the goal of achieving voluntary compliance. If that is not effective, however, we stand ready to bring an enforcement action in court, Charity  Clark Chief of Staff with the AG's office wrote.

Read more in The Newport Daily paper edition or e-Edition. 

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