Message from District Attorney Dan Dow
Message from District Attorney Dan Dow

DA Dow Gives Statement Regarding Criminal Enforcement of COVID Shutdown 'Orders'

Author: District Attorney
Date: 12/8/2020 4:45 PM

District Attorney Dan Dow responds after being asked by the San Luis Obispo Tribune about whether he would prosecute Kennedy Club Fitness for alleged violations of "COVID shutdown orders."

District Attorney Dan Dow today released the following statement to Stephanie Finucane, Opinion Editor of the San Luis Obispo Tribune:

I was approached recently by the City Attorney for San Luis Obispo regarding potential referrals to my office for misdemeanor charges against Kennedy Club Fitness. I indicated to Ms. Dietrick that the City must show that they have exhausted all civil remedies against the business prior to this office considering issuing a criminal charge. Ms. Dietrick advised me that the City of San Luis Obispo can assess an administrative civil fine of $1000 per person, per violation, per day. For instance, if a business has 5 employees and 10 customers in their shop in violation of the ‘order’, then the City can assess that business a fine of $15,000. The City could do the very same thing each day they find such as violation.

If the City is truly interested in ensuring compliance by Kennedy Club Fitness or any other business for violating coronavirus restrictions, they have ample effective methods to do so administratively without asking my office to punish the business as a criminal.

Families and businesses in our county are struggling to keep their head above water and survive financially. There is no sense in labeling a business owner or a business as a criminal for choosing to keep their business open in a manner that adequately protects their customers – who, by the way, are not being forced to enter their business.

Dan Dow, District Attorney

From: Finucane, Stephanie 
Sent: Tuesday, December 8, 2020 3:21 PM
To: Dan Dow 
Subject: [EXT]Covid enforcement

Good afternoon,

I'm working on a piece about enforcement of COVID shutdown orders, particularly as they relate to Kennedy Club Fitness and I received this statement from Paso: 

Enforcement likely won’t be criminal in nature as DA Dan Dow has repeatedly stated he will not file criminal charges in these types of matters unless it is viewed by his office as egregious.

I was not aware of that and was wondering if you could elaborate. For example, what would be considered egregious?





Stephanie Finucane

Opinion Editor, The Tribune, San Luis Obispo


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Stephanie Finucane