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Welsh bar owners refuse to comply with state-mandated closures

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Posted at 6:55 PM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 19:55:05-05

WELSH, La. — Bar owners in Welsh are refusing to comply with a state mandate from Gov. John Bel Edwards' modified Phase 2 order that closes all indoor drinking at bars in a parish that has a COVID-19 percent positivity rate of 5% or higher.

T&D's Sportsman's Paradise Bar in Welsh is under investigation after owners, Timothy and Karen Lejeune, have openly refused to comply with the government ordered state mandate to close all businesses that are not deemed necessary to be open during the pandemic.

"We followed the mandates for a good while," said Timothy Lejeune, partial owner of the bar. "Like everybody else, we were concerned, but then all the information started coming out that it's not that bad, you know, it's like's time to open back up."

This past weekend, the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control issued the owners a suspension notice, warning them to close their doors.

Commissioner of ATC, Ernest Legier told KATC that if the owners do not comply with the governor's orders after their court hearing, their permit will be revoked leading them to close their doors or face legal issues upon attempting to sell and distribute alcohol without a license.

"It doesn't matter to me, I'll see them in court," Lejeune said. "I'm still going to stay open, and I'm still going to operate my business. It's our constitutional right. A mandate is not a law."

The Lejeunes plan to meet with government officials, face to face, in court at a later date to discuss the legality of the mandate.

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