Illinois attorney sends ‘cease and desist’ letter to Winnebago Co. Health Dept. on behalf of three local restaurants

Local owners go after Winnebago County’s top official after they say recent indoor dining measures are going too far.
Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 9:51 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Nick Fosberg owns Fozzy’s Bar and Grill which joined Casey’s Pub and Nora’s Place on a cease and desist letter sent to Winnebago County Public Health Administrator Dr. Sandra Martell fighting recent measures by the health department to stop indoor dining.

“People aren’t going to sit outside in 40-45 degree weather it’s either I lose my business now or I fight this and we see what happens and I lose it later on," said Fosberg.

Illinois attorney Thomas DeVore represents the owners. In his letter he says the health department is trying to intimidate his clients.

“Sometimes we have department of health officials not many, but some like Dr. Martell who for whatever reason personal, political, or otherwise find it necessary to go out here and try to enforce something that can’t be enforced by anyone," said DeVore.

Doctor Martell responds saying:

“It is extremely disappointing that a very small number of restaurants/bars in our community sought legal guidance from a representative outside of our community. At the press briefing, I reported on 30 establishments that had had complaints reported since Saturday (October 3, 2020) with the start of Executive Order #2020-56 and these complaints would be validated before a Notice of Non-Compliance would be issued. I have had no personal interaction with any of the establishments cited in this letter. The Winnebago County Health Department will continue its Enforcement Procedures as outlined and posted on the health department website. These procedures were in place before the issuance of the Executive Order #2020-56 available at”

DeVore also states in his letter that if the health department takes any further action against his clients it will be met with legal action against the department.

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