Mar-a-Lago should be shut down after New Year’s Eve party violated COVID rules, says lawmaker Omari Hardy
Mar-a-Lago is bracing for a tax wallop. Image via AP.

Video showed party-goers, including Rudy Giuliani, celebrating sans mask.

Rep. Omari Hardy is urging Palm Beach County to shut down Mar-a-Lago after a video showed dozens of maskless partygoers celebrating the New Year at the club.

On Saturday, Hardy publicly called on Palm Beach County Government to fine and shut down the resort for its violation of the county’s mandatory mask order. Hardy suggested the county shutdown Mar-a-Lago until officials can be assured the business will comply with the county’s mask mandate.

“I recognize that the President is a powerful person and that his business, Mar-a-Lago, is a daunting target for enforcement, but the law is the law,” Hardy said in a statement. “The County’s mask mandate applies to all businesses in Palm Beach County. The presidency does not confer to the President and his friends a special privilege to endanger the health and welfare of Palm Beach County’s residents.”

Hardy emailed Assistant County Administrator Todd Bonlarron attaching the video and calling for enforcement of the mask mandate.

“During one of our weekly conference calls, you informed me that Palm Beach County’s emergency order requires businesses to require their patrons to wear masks,” Hardy wrote in the email to Bonlarron. “You also informed me that Palm Beach County has the authority to fine and even to shut down businesses for noncompliance with this order.”

“Mar-a-Lago is a club. A club is a business. Businesses must comply with Palm Beach County’s mask order,” he continues in the email.

In a statement, Hardy relays that he has been in touch with attorney Daniel Uhlfelder in regard to the matter. Uhlfelder garnered attention after filing suit against Gov. Ron DeSantis to close beaches to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He is also noted for dressing up as the grim reaper on the beach to represent the grim dangers of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Mr. Uhlfelder is a skilled attorney and an outspoken advocate for better government policy in the wake of this coronavirus pandemic,” Hardy said in a statement. “Mr. Uhlfelder and I have discussed various options for ensuring that the county’s mask mandate is enforced and that no business owner is given special treatment.”

According to the email, Palm Beach County published a schedule of fines for businesses found to be in noncompliance with the mask order. The schedule calls for a $250 fine for a first violation, a $350 fine for a second violation, and a $500 fine for each additional violation.

Amid the unsafe New Years celebration, Florida hit a record single-day coronavirus case load on Thursday, in which it confirmed 21,00o new cases — shattering all previous records by thousands of cases. It concluded a week of record case numbers.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


  • Sonja Fitch

    January 2, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    Wow. Palm Beach County you have been stuck with the loser! Stand up now cause it will forever be bs from Maralago and loser Trump! Lol. Lol. Plus the loser Trump ain’t rich and he stinks! lol lol lol

  • DisplacedCTYankee

    January 3, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    Good! Shut er down! Shut er down!

  • Sandy Toes Native

    January 6, 2021 at 9:14 am

    Maybe you should return to CT and be happy.

Comments are closed.


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