Greene Co. DA Won't Prosecute Businesses That Reopen Early

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By NewsRadio 1020 KDKA

WAYNESBURG, Pa (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Beginning Monday, May 11, businesses in Greene County deemed non-essential by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s administration can reopen without fear of prosecution, according to the county’s District Attorney.

District Attorney David Russo announced on Thursday that, "As of Monday, May 11, 2020 businesses in Greene County Pennsylvania who open their doors and conduct business will not be prosecuted as long as they limit the number of customers on the premises, maintain social distancing, require personal protective equipment for employees and customers, as well as follow CDC guidelines."

"I cannot in good conscience stand by and watch our economy and the small businesses in my community perish. If large conglomerate shopping centers, gas stations and businesses deemed essential such as beer distributors can safely operate with thousands of customers entering their stores each day then there is no reason the small business owner should not be allowed to operate under the same guidelines. Many of the businesses in Pennsylvania may not be able to recover from the Governor’s actions; I am trying to save what is left of my community." 

As of Monday, Greene County has 27 positive cases of COVID-19 with 520 negative tests and one death.

Russo says that businesses with state licenses such as bars, restaurants and hair salons should continue to comply with Wolf’s guidelines. Businesses with state licenses can be subject to revocation if they don’t comply with the order.

“I only have jurisdiction over criminal prosecution; licensing and civil penalties remain at the discretion of the State.”

“I am asking all business owners to use good judgment in the operation of their businesses.” Russo further stated, “I am doing what I can to prevent the economic collapse of my county.”

Greene County along with 12 other counties in Southwest PA will move into the yellow phase of the governor’s coronavirus mitigation plan on Friday, easing some restrictions on what businesses can reopen.

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