Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced today that his office has settled its lawsuit against New Prague eatery St. Patrick’s Tavern & Restaurant, for violations of Governor Tim Walz’s Executive Order 20-99 and Executive Order 20-103.
Per the terms of a consent judgment filed in Scott County, St. Patrick’s Tavern & Restaurant will pay a $15,000 fine and comply with the requirements of Governor Tim Walz’s current and future executive orders that apply to bars and restaurants while those executive orders are in effect. If St. Patrick’s Tavern & Restaurant were to violate any of the terms of the consent judgment, it would be subject to a civil penalty of $25,000. All funds received in this settlement go to the State of Minnesota General Fund, not the Attorney General’s Office.
One of the requirements of the executive orders — a targeted, temporary dial-back of certain activities to halt the spread of COVID-19 — was that bars and restaurants were prohibited from permitting indoor, on-premises consumption of food or drink starting Friday, November 20, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. until January 10, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Despite efforts by the Attorney General’s Office to gain compliance with the requirements to stop the spread of COVID-19, St. Patrick’s Tavern & Restaurant remained open for indoor, on-premises consumption. A county sheriff deputy and a state investigator noted multiple violations in several unannounced visits.
Even after the Attorney General’s Office first called St. Patrick’s Tavern & Restaurant to provide education on the requirements of Executive Order 20-99, the owner indicated that she was not sure whether she would comply with the executive orders. After that phone call, St. Patrick’s Tavern & Restaurant remained open for indoor, on-premises consumption of food and drink, and hosted several hundred customers indoors on both December 18 and 19, 2020. On December 21, Attorney General Ellison’s office filed a lawsuit against the bar and restaurant for openly violating the executive orders.
“It’s every Minnesotan’s responsibility to stop the spread of COVID-19. I thank this business for agreeing to meet its responsibility and rejoin the vast majority of Minnesota businesses that are already doing so,” Attorney General Ellison said. “My top priority has always been educating Minnesotans about their responsibility and winning voluntary compliance. Enforcement has been and will continue to be a last resort.”
This represents the 6th settlement the Attorney General’s office has reached with businesses against which it had filed enforcement actions for violating the terms of Executive Orders 20-99 and 20-103.
Attorney General Ellison reminds Minnesotans that they can report COVID-19-related concerns and complaints either through the Office’s dedicated COVID-19 online complaint form on his website or by calling his office at (651) 296-3353 (Metro area) or (800) 657-3787 (Greater Minnesota).