The Attorney General’s Office issued a directive to David Green, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, on Wednesday ordering the company to close all of its stores in Colorado to comply with March 25 Governor Jared’s order. Polite and to comply with updated public health ordinances.
“You are urged to immediately close all Hobby Lobby locations in the state of Colorado,” said the directive, signed by W. Eric Kuhn, Senior Deputy Attorney General. “Immediate compliance is mandatory, and any future or continuing non-compliance will be subject to the full force and effect of the injunction. “
A video game store and a car wash joined a Denver Hobby Lobby at closing this week after being cited by city inspectors. A fourth company, an appliance store, remains open after receiving three violations.
Companies that receive a “general violation” are assigned a hearing date, when their sentence will be determined, said Erika Martinez, a media relations representative at the Denver Joint Information Center.
Violations are punishable up to $ 999 by citation or jail term and can be issued for a variety of reasons, including non-core businesses operating, core businesses and their customers violating social distancing or sanitation protocols, and citizens using prohibited areas such as parks.
Businesses should close the quote, said Martinez.
From Thursday to Tuesday, Denver law enforcement officials published quotes at the Hobby Lobby, 920 S. Monaco Parkway; GameStop, 757 E. 20th Ave .; Washing machine USA Express, 603 Santa Fe Drive; and Appliance Factory Mattress Kingdom, 1045 Zuni St. Another GameStop in Boulder has received the city’s only violation so far, 9News reported.
The Appliance Factory Mattress Kingdom store remains open, despite calls from authorities to close it, said sales manager Matt Coudayre. Denver authorities have condemned the store to three violations because it was not considered a core business. Lincoln Park is the only of 18 statewide stores cited, said Coudayre – and said he did not agree with Denver’s reasoning.
“There is obviously some confusion because if you look at the order of the city, we are essentially providing essential goods and services for sanitation maintenance and the essential functioning of residences,” said Coudayre. “This formulation is taken from the city ordinance. Obviously, we are in there. “
Denver inspectors also cited Wingstop, 5125 Chambers Road, but it’s unclear why. As a restaurant, it can remain open only for take-out business.
In addition to the Denver outlet, Hobby Lobby stores in Colorado Springs have closed, KRDO reported. Others, however, remained open Wednesday in disregard of the statewide governor’s order, including stores in Wheat Ridge and Westminster. Lone Tree police have asked Hobby Lobby to comply voluntarily and expect the city’s store to be closed by Wednesday afternoon, said communications manager Denisse Coffman.
Calls to the Hobby Lobby stores in Lakewood and Englewood, which were open earlier this week, went unanswered Wednesday morning, suggesting a patchwork of closings in the Denver area. Hobby Lobby officials have yet to respond to Denver Post inquiries.
Craft stores are not considered critical; nor are they exempt from closure under state order, said Governor Jared Polis’ press secretary Conor Cahill. However, other chains in the metropolitan area, including Joann Fabric and Michaels, offered online ordering and curbside pickup, but did not leave the public inside the stores.
Worried citizens have flooded local agencies and the attorney general’s office with complaints about businesses they believe do not comply with the Home Stay Order. Law enforcement varies by jurisdiction, but generally authorities will request voluntary compliance before moving on to civil sanctions, said Attorney General Phil Weiser. Criminal sanctions are reserved for “the most extreme cases,” he said.
Many agencies are still figuring out the best way to handle these reports. The Tri-County health department, which covers the counties of Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas, received 140 complaints about businesses and restaurants, but had not issued any formal violations on Wednesday.“We, like other public health services, are developing law enforcement procedures to use in the rare cases where they may be necessary to ensure that non-compliance by some does not undermine the sacrifices that most of the community does, “said Executive Director John Douglas in a statement. “Our goal in responding to complaints is to educate the community and business owners on the various orders and what it means to them.”
Businesses are not alone in receiving warnings about home stay orders and social distancing guidelines.
The Denver city and county law enforcement team contacted 2,577 businesses and citizens about the non-compliance, issuing 543 warnings and issuing the above citations, the joint information center said.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said on Tuesday that it would strengthen law enforcement after residents crowded on hiking trails and open spaces, including North Table Mountain.