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Why the city of Selah will not enforce coronavirus orders from Inslee

Gov. Inslee on Friday. (TVW)

In spite of a threat from the governor, the employees of the city of Selah, Wash., near Yakima, will not enforce any of the coronavirus orders coming down from Gov. Inslee. Mayor Sherry Raymond says the governor does not have the legal authority to force any employees, including police officers, to take action against anyone.

The governor’s office responded with a letter essentially threatening criminal prosecution if this proclamation from the mayor isn’t rescinded. Rob Case, Municipal Attorney for the city of Selah, joined the Jason Rantz Show to discuss.

“We pointed out, and I believe correctly, that the letter we received from the governor’s office was simply incorrect. … That letter attributed action to our proclamation, which our proclamation simply did not take,” he said. “The letter claims we purported to open all businesses and has some other allegations within it that are just nowhere on the face of the actual proclamation that the mayor issued.”

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“Second, the letter from the governor’s office, based upon its false facts, concludes that we’re violating state law. … As I say in my letter, and I offer illegal analysis as to why, the mayor’s proclamation is fully legal.”

What exactly does the proclamation do?

“It proclaims and explains what Selah policy is for its own municipal workforce,” Case said. “It says that the Selah municipal workforce, including its police officers, will not actively enforce the governor’s emergency proclamations in this context.”

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“The mayor’s proclamation does not fully negate the governor’s orders. The mayor’s proclamation does not say that other law enforcement agencies, like the Attorney General’s Office or the State Patrol, cannot enforce these orders,” Case said. “… As we said in the mayor’s proclamation, the municipal employees of the city of Selah simply do not work for the governor.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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