‘We’ll be talking to the attorney general about that’: Inslee says of local bars choosing to defy state order

Black Diamond Grill and Iron Horse
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee had strong words for the owners of local bars choosing to defy the state order by fully reopening their businesses.

“Right now these businesses are violating the law, they’re endangering their patrons, and it’s not just the patrons, it’s their families and their neighbors,” Inslee said.

The owners of the Black Diamond Bar and the Iron Horse Bar and Grill in Spokane Valley have opened their doors.

The owner of Iron Horse told 4 News Now he felt he has the right to open since the county’s health officer said the region is ready for phase two.

READ: Two Spokane Valley bars reopen, defying state order

Under phase two, restaurants can reopen for dine-in services at a limited capacity. On Tuesday, Inslee announced that Spokane County is now eligible to apply for variance to move into the next phase.

However, variance has not yet granted and Inslee said those businesses owners could face penalties.

“It’s extremely disappointing and they need to come into compliance,” Inslee said. “We’ll be talking to the attorney general about that.”

Businesses owners found out of compliance can have their licenses revoked under the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. Those people can also face criminal charges if they choose not to comply.

Inslee acknowledged the hardship that local business owners have dealt with since having to close down, but said the majority of businesses have been abiding by the requirements.

He said there will be an even bigger need for compliance as the state loosens requirements moving forward.

As of this writing, there is no set date for Spokane County to advance to phase 2.

READ: Spokane County can now apply for early advancement to phase 2 of reopening plan