Investigation opened to determine whether Hempstead town supervisor's fundraiser violated COVID-19 rules
An investigation has been opened into a fundraising event for Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin for possible social distancing violations.
Photos obtained by News 12 show the outdoor event hosted by Clavin's campaign on Oct. 27 at the Plattduetsche Park Restaurant and Catering Hall in Franklin Square. The photos show unmasked attendees sitting and standing in close proximity to each other.
One photo shows Clavin wearing a mask standing with two unmasked men. The county says there were 200 people at the event. The state limit on gatherings is 50 people.
The Nassau Fire Marshal's office issued a statement, saying, "By governor's orders, social gatherings that contain more than 50 people is a public health violation. The Nassau County Fire Marshal's office has enforced the law fairly, countywide on numerous prior occasions with similar circumstances."
But a spokesman for Friends of Don Clavin, which hosted the fundraiser, said all public health measures were taken, including temperature scans and spacing tables 10 feet apart, requiring masks when not seated and having monitors ensure that diners remain seated at their tables.
The Republican spokesman said, "In short, the by-reservation-only dinner was not a 'public event.'"
The state's COVID-19 guidelines do not draw a distinction between invitation-only and public gatherings. However, state protocols do say a gathering of more than 50 is a public health violation.
County officials say the fire marshal's probe will determine whether Clavin's fundraiser was an illegal gathering or allowed under state guidelines.