‘We aren’t wearing them’: Ohio restaurant wins case against health department over masks

Ohio Headlines

ASHLAND COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – An Ashland County judge sided with a restaurant owner in her case against the county health department.

The Ashland County Health Department suspended the food service license of Cattleman’s Restaurant in Savannah in July 2020 because they were not wearing masks.

Owner Mandy Close filed a lawsuit, and a judge granted a temporary restraining order to allow the restaurant to remain open while the case was pending in court.

The ruling was released Tuesday, saying in part, “This case was initiated due to what this Court finds to be improper conduct on the part of the Director of the Ashland County Department of Health.”

Close told the FOX 8 I-Team she is “thrilled” with the judge’s decision.  

“I think it’s just great,” Close said.  “We have not been wearing masks and we aren’t wearing them now.”

Heather Reffett, who was the health commissioner at the time Close’s food license was suspended, is no longer employed at the Ashland County Health Department. In November, the board released a statement saying Reffert will no longer be employed by the department and wished her well.

The 8-page ruling continued, “The improper conduct has been cured and the ability of Plaintiffs to operate their food service establishment was reinstated.”

Close says she placed a sign on the door alerting customers that the servers will not have masks on and not to come in if they felt unsafe.

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