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Fines dismissed over President Trump’s northern Nevada rally

December 18, 2020 GMT

MINDEN, Nev. (AP) — The Nevada agency that oversees businesses compliance with state coronavirus directives has dismissed fines it imposed after President Donald Trump held a September political rally at the Minden-Tahoe Airport in Douglas County.

The Douglas County District Attorney, representing the county and the airport management contractor, reached agreement with Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration monitors to dismiss the fines, arguing they amounted to selective enforcement and violated the First Amendment, the Gardnerville Record-Courier reported.

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After the rallies, health officials said they anticipated the gatherings with mostly maskless people would lead to an uptick in coronavirus cases.

In October, OSHA monitors slapped Douglas County and ABS Aviation with $2,950 and $2,603 fines, saying allowing an event in violation of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s prevention measures violated the agreement the county signed to receive coronavirus relief funds.

Sisolak ultimately let the county keep the $8.9 million in relief because he said he didn’t want to punish residents in need of aid.

“The dismissals will be formalized in settlement agreements, and no formal complaints will be filed before the Nevada OSHA Board of Review, bringing this matter to a successful conclusion,” Douglas County spokeswoman Melissa Blosser told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The dismissal comes amid a statewide coronavirus surge that has prompted officials to renew their focus on enforcing prevention guidelines.