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Laramie County D.A.: ”I’m Not Enforcing A Mask Mandate”

Doug Randall, Townsquare Media
Doug Randall, Townsquare Media

Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove says her office won’t be prosecuting anyone for violating a face mask mandate which goes into effect in the county on Monday.

Manlove, appearing on the ”Weekend In Wyoming” program on am 650, KGAB on Saturday, said there were two reasons why her office won’t be prosecuting those who violate the order. First of all, in light of a 6 percent cut in funding for her office, the District Attorney is already not prosecuting people who commit non-violent crimes, rather focusing on violent offenses that directly injure people.

But even aside from that, Manlove said she doesn’t see violating the mask mandate as a crime.”I think a crime is a violation of a law passed by the legislature,” Manlove said, adding that the health mandate does not meet those criteria. Manlove also said she has constitutional questions about prosecuting people for violating the mandate.

”Frankly, I’m not enforcing a mask mandate,”  Manlove said. She later added ‘”There may be a public official out there who knows what the consequences are of not wearing a mask. But it ain’t this one.”

The mandate, which was written by Laramie County Health Officer Dr. Stan Hartman and has been approved by state Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist officially goes into effect on Monday in an effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

While those who violate the mandate could be charged with a misdemeanor carrying a penalty of up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine, Hartman told KGAB radio on October 24 that enforcement would essentially come down to the honor system.

Hartman said neither his office nor local law enforcement has the manpower or resources to actually enforce the mandate against those who refuse to wear a mask.


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