A Roseburg restaurant that was fined for reopening in violation of state orders has started a GoFundMe site to raise money to help pay for its legal costs.
Casey’s Restaurant, 326 NW Garden Valley Blvd., posted an item about opening the GoFundMe account on its Facebook page shortly before 6 p.m. on Thursday. By Saturday night, the site had raised nearly $8,179 from 98 people, and donations continue to come in. The listed goal for the GoFundMe post is $14,000.
“To our customers and supporters, it has come to our attention that many of you would like to stand side by side with us to uphold our freedom and constitutional rights,” Casey’s owners, Lance and Laurie Mounts, wrote in a post on their GoFundMe page. “As you all may know, we chose to open our restaurant outside of Governor Kate Brown’s executive order. We want you all to know that we did not have any malicious intentions. Rather, we wish to support our employees, customers, business and rights…We have made a GoFundMe for our customers to show the love and support that they’ve been begging to give us.”
The post went on to say that the money will be used to pay for legal costs and that Casey’s is refusing to pay any fines handed out by Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Casey’s has hired an attorney, and any donations not used for legal fees will be given back to the community, the restaurant said.
The Mounts declined to comment Saturday.
Casey’s reopened for dine-in service on May 5. On May 14, OSHA fined the restaurant two fines equaling $13,900 for reopening for dine-in service against Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order. OSHA said the restaurant “willfully” disobeying the order and in doing so put employees at “serious” risk.
OSHA alleged that Casey’s opened with about nine employees who worked within a couple of feet of customers without face coverings, according to media reports. Customers were seated in every other booth. OSHA officials also said when they visited they saw the parking lot at the restaurant was full and there were as many as nine customers waiting in line.
OSHA said the agency posted a “red-tag notice” at the entrance to the restaurant on May 8, which warned that further use of the facility was prohibited.
Casey’s has 30 calendar days from the date the citation was issued to appeal it, OSHA said.
Those who gave to the restaurant’s GoFundMe account added words of encouragement, which were posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
“I don’t believe Kate Brown should have the authority to fine folks who are trying to support their community and their families. Casey’s is owned by good Christian people and has a very friendly staff. My kudos to them all!” wrote Dolores Kirkham, who donated $100.
“Casey’s is owned and operated by a group of true American Patriots that are just trying to provide our community with a needed essential service. They have followed and gone beyond the CDC COVID-19 guidelines, and are as safe as your local hospital. It’s time to stand up and fight for our patriots, our rights, and our freedoms,” wrote Glen Langwell, who also donated $100.