Niagara County: enforcement guidance lacking ahead of holiday gatherings


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Al-Sharif said that his ministry has not yet received enforcement guidance from the state. He will not actively pursue rallies in violation of the governor’s mandate.

BUFFALO, New York – Governor Andrew Cuomo has a tough time getting a sheriff across the state to enforce his 10-person limit on Thanksgiving gatherings.

Michael Felicity, the mayor of Niagara County, told 2 On Your Side that his department has yet to receive any enforcement guidance from the state when it comes to gatherings in private homes. The sheriff says he will not actively pursue gatherings in violation of the ruler’s mandate.

“I support our sheriff in the sense that we will really struggle to get law enforcement resources to investigate and charge people from their kitchen and dining room tables with a crime,” said Caroline Voitachek, Niagara County Attorney.

“If someone is excessive or blatant in breaking the law, then a civil fine, yes.”

Tim Howard, the Sheriff of Erie County, says he has no plans to use his deputies to break up Thanksgiving dinner. He asked everyone to follow your heart and act responsibly, as well as do what is best for your family.

Earlier this week, through a statement, the following law enforcement officials said they had no intention of enforcing the law. Executive order Issued by Governor Como limiting gatherings in private residences to 10 people or less:

  • Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard
  • Niagara County Mayor Michael Felicity
  • Niagara County Attorney Caroline Voitachek
  • Chateaux County Sheriff James Quatroni
  • Genesee County Sheriff William Sherwin
  • Stubin County Sheriff James Allard
  • Ontario District Attorney James Rits
  • Yates County Sheriff Ronald Spike
  • Wayne County Sheriff Barry Vertes
  • Schuyler County Sheriff William Lesman

However, elected officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are being urged to exercise caution.


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