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Lincoln County Attorney Won’t Prosecute Face Mask Violations

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Another in a growing list of Wyoming county officials says he won’t prosecute people for violating a county face mask ordinance.

Lincoln County Attorney Spencer Allred has issued a statement which includes the following:

”It is my position that this mandate will not be enforced through my Office due to the
constitutional concerns and other logistical issues surrounding it. I believe that these decisions should ultimately be up to the duly elected legislative body, elected officials, and the Supreme Court.”

You can read Allred’s entire statement on the Lincoln County Republican Party Facebook page.

In every Wyoming County except Laramie and Natrona counties, the county attorney acts as the chief prosecuting attorney in criminal cases. In Laramie and Natrona counties, which have the largest population in the state, that role is filled by state-funded District Attorney’s.

One of those D.A.’s, Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove, is among those who has said she will not prosecute those who violate the county’s face mask mandate. Manlove cited both a lack of resources and constitutional questions about whether a mandate is a law among her reasons.

Sweetwater County Sheriff John Grosnickle has said his office won’t be citing or arresting people for face mask violations. Both the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office and Cheyenne Police Department have said they won’t issue citations for the violations either, although they will cite people who refuse to wear a mask or leave a business for trespassing.

But Rock Springs Police Chief Dwayne Pacheco said last week that his agency takes the face mask ordinance in Sweetwater County “very seriously” and seemed to indicate that his officers would issue citations to violators as a last resort.

So far there is no statewide face mask mandate in place in Wyoming. But 12 of the state’s 23 counties have adopted such mandates.

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