“To all our loyal members please know that I will fight and make this right,” Henrey said on his Facebook page Aug. 31. “[I] remained because I felt our members needed it and I needed to support my family.”
The warnings began on June 3 when Ben Hernandez, a Buellton code enforcement officer, visited the gym and told Henrey his gym was not allowed to be open, according to court records.
Henrey acknowledged the warning but replied that his gym was an essential business because he also sells masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment. He said he has taken measures that include spacing equipment at least 6 feet apart, taking members’ temperatures, requiring face masks and making members sign a liability waiver.
Additionally, acting on advice from his attorney, Henrey told Hernandez his gym was “not open to the public and members only,” according to the lawsuit.
Officials contacted Henrey several more times in July and August, including two more visits from Hernandez on July 15 and Aug. 12, two visits from District Attorney’s Office Investigator Kristina Perkins on Aug. 5 and 21 and a telephone conversation with Environmental Health Services Director Lawrence Fay on July 23.
Each time, Henrey said he wasn’t closing, according to court documents.
“He responded that he believed that he cannot be compelled to close, which would result in the loss of his business,” Fay said.
On Aug. 28, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued “A Blueprint for A Safer Economy,” or a color-coded, tiered reopening system that allows businesses to operate and graduate to less restrictive tiers if the number of coronavirus cases drops below certain thresholds.