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Metro Creative Connection

Law enforcement officials in 9 WNY counties won't enforce Cuomo's 10-person limit

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Fri, Nov 20th 2020 09:55 am

Sheriffs call Cuomo’s mandate unconstitutionally vague and not practically enforceable

Joining their colleagues in Erie, Fulton, Washington and Saratoga counties, the following Western New York officials have stated they have no intention of enforcing what they called an unconstitutional executive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo limiting gatherings in private residences to 10 persons or less:

  • Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard
  • Steuben County Sheriff James Allard
  • Ontario County District Attorney James Ritts
  • Yates County Sheriff Ronald Spike
  • Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone
  • Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts
  • Schuyler County Sheriff William Yessman
  • Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron
  • Niagara County Sheriff Michael Filicetti
  • Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek

In an ongoing project conducted jointly by the Erie County Libertarian Party and 2ANYS, the sheriffs and district attorneys operating in all 17 counties of the Western District of New York were asked to advise if they will be immediately and explicitly stating their respective offices will not be enforcing Cuomo’s 10-person cap executive order.

Howard said, “I have no plans to utilize my office’s resources or deputies to break up the great tradition of Thanksgiving dinner. … This national holiday has created longstanding family traditions that are at the heart of America, and these traditions should not be stopped or interrupted by Gov. Cuomo’s mandates.”

Niagara County Sheriff Michael Filicetti said, “I appreciate your concern. I have spoken with several media outlets regarding this topic. I will not be enforcing this mandate.”

Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek said, “I support my sheriff's position on this matter. I believe we should all be diligent about masks and personal hygiene during these trying times. Be safe and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.”

2ANYS founder Steve Felano said, “It’s about time that county law enforcement leaders finally embrace their rightful function as a check against the governor and Legislature, both of which have been overstepping the bounds of their power for decades. In 2019, when I spoke with numerous sheriffs across the state about embracing public nonenforcement as a means of obstructing the domineering Cuomo regime, all were hesitant because the government money was still flowing to police paychecks and pensions, and George Floyd hysteria had yet to grip the state amid the COVID-1984 authoritarian lockdown.

“2020 has dramatically shifted the Overton window regarding how far county law enforcement is willing to go with a public nonenforcement agenda, and I like what I’m seeing. George Floyd hysteria has demonstrated to county sheriffs that progressive legislators hate the police, and sheriffs are well aware that, with a budget hole tens of billions of dollars deep, the bankrupt New York state government will soon begin withholding paychecks and pension payments from officers because the tax-by-force government money train has ground to a halt.

“These realities have emboldened county sheriffs to publicly embrace an anti-Cuomo nonenforcement agenda far more readily than they would have just one year ago. This Cuomo resistance among sheriffs will eventually make the jump to public nonenforcement declarations regarding the SAFE Act and many other components of the Albany Civilian Disarmament Agenda. I look forward to accelerating county law enforcement’s transition from COVID-1984 non-enforcement to gun control nonenforcement across New York state and beyond.”

Felano is one of several Western New York plaintiffs, including Erie County Libertarian Party Chair Duane Whitmer, driving a lawsuit filed on May 15 against members of the Cuomo team.

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