Wayne County District Attorney A.G. Howell announced that the District Attorney’s Office shall not prosecute citations for alleged violations of the stay at home orders pursuant the Administrative Code of 1929, 71 P. S. § 1409; and the Disease Control and Prevention Act of 1955, 35 P.S. § 521.20(a) unless under egregious, outrageous and extreme alleged violations.
As the Governor has said time and time again, this is a health issue. This is not a criminal issue. In the Governor’s Business Closure Order Enforcement Guidance provided to law enforcement, the Governor “deferred to law enforcement executives and District Attorneys to determine appropriate charges for suspected violations.”
Howell states, “It is not the role of law enforcement and criminal courts to litigate which businesses are life-sustaining and which businesses are not.” Being a health issue, any alleged complaints should be directed to the appropriate state agency such as the Liquor Control Board, the Department of Labor and Industry, and the Department of Health.
The Department of Health has a COVID-19 Complaint form through its’ website.
“The residents of Wayne County have done an incredible job in adhering to the guidelines and restrictions to keep the spread of this virus at very low levels. I expect nothing else moving forward.” We all need to continue to do the right thing by following mitigation guidelines to keep the spread of this virus at manageable levels, and stay resilient. We need to stay focused on continuing to inform the public to keep health and safety at the forefront rather than criminal prosecution.