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GREEN RIVER — As Sweetwater County Attorney, I have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution of the State of Wyoming and the United States. I am also bound by specific rules of ethical conduct regarding the prosecution of criminal statutes lawfully passed by the legislative branch of this great state.

Due to constitutional, ethical, and logistic reasons, my office will not prosecute anyone for violation of Sweetwater County Public Health Order 2020-3, otherwise known as the “mask mandate.”

This decision is based purely on the parameters of my position and not a statement regarding the validity of face coverings in dealing with COVID-19. I am the County Attorney, not an epidemiologist or a healthcare worker. My opinion on whether face coverings work, or don’t work, has no bearing on this decision.

I am aware that this is a hot button topic for many on both sides of the issue. I strongly urge that all exercise respect. Respect for the rights of the business owner requiring face coverings to be worn in their business. Respect for the fellow American who feels face coverings are an infringement of individual rights; and respect for those who feel they need to be mandated for the greater good. In Wyoming, we are proud of our independent nature and the strong adherence to individual rights and accountability; a trait lacking in other parts of the country. This sentiment includes the right for others to operate their business as they see fit, or to have an opinion in how we choose to lawfully conduct ourselves.

Hopefully this Covid-19 problem will be over soon. What will surely last is the impact of how we treat our fellow citizens.

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