ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Casey's Restaurant in Roseburg has been fined nearly $14,000 by Oregon OSHA for reopening for dine-in service against Gov. Kate Brown's executive order.
According to state documents, the restaurant was cited and fined $13,900 on May 14 for "willfully" disobeying the order and putting employees at "serious" risk. They say owner Laura Mounts was fully aware that she was violating the order.
Owners say they have an attorney and plan to fight the citation.
OSHA's report alleges that Casey's Restaurant opened on May 5 with approximately nine employees who worked within two feet of customers without face coverings. Customers were seated in every other booth.
Officials said they observed a full parking lot with three to nine customers lined up to get inside. They report the host was encouraging social distancing in the line.
According to OSHA, a "red-tag notice" warning that further use of the facility was prohibited was posted on the restaurant's entrance on May 8. They say Mounds was aware of the notice but continued to seat customers in the following days.
Casey's Restaurant has 30 calendar days from the date the citation was issued to appeal it.
OSHA representative Leah Andrews told KEZI 9 News that fewer than five businesses in the state have been cited for willful violations.
"Casey's restaurant has been the only willful violation we have had in the Roseburg area," she said. "For the most part any business that Oregon OSHA has reached out to, if we tell them they are in violation, they want to get back in line."
Longtime Casey's customer Craig Schlesinger believes most people in the community are supportive of the restaurant's decision to reopen early.
"Most of Roseburg will help them if they do get fined. Because we love Casey's, and we are in favor of Oregon opening up and we aren't willing to wait any longer," he said.
Douglas County got the green light to reopen in phase one on May 15. Under phase one, restaurants are allowed to reopen for dine-in service but with new restrictions.