Lawsuit filed against Ala. sheriff for not enforcing state health order

The lawsuit alleges that Mack’s decision "appears to be political activity" against an "unpopular order"

John Sharp
Alabama Media Group

FAIRHOPE, Ala. — A Fairhope man and blogger who frequently chides public officials in Baldwin County on the Ripp Report website is asking a judge to direct Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack to enforce the State Health Order prohibiting indoor dining, religious services and businesses like hair salons.

The lawsuit filed by Francis Paul Ripp asks for Judge J. Clark Stankoski to issue a Writ of Mandamus instructing Mack to enforce the order that was authorized April 28 by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris. The order prohibits certain public gatherings such as indoor church services and indoor restaurant dining.

Mack, in media interviews and on Facebook, has said he isn’t going to have his deputies perform custodial arrests for violations to the state health order. He joins a growing list of other sheriffs in Alabama who have openly said they will not have their departments enforce the health order.

The lawsuit alleges that Mack’s decision “appears to be political activity” against an “unpopular order.”

According to the lawsuit, “the Sheriff’s dereliction of his enforcement duties creates an immediate public health crisis in Baldwin County, Alabama.”

The state health order is set to expire on May 15. The lawsuit requests and emergency hearing, and for the reimbursement of court costs and attorney fees.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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