A Minnesota bar owner who refused to comply with the state's COVID-19 mandate to close her business was found guilty Thursday.
Lisa Hanson, owner of Interchange Wine and Coffee Bistro in Albert Lea, was found guilty of six criminal misdemeanor charges related to noncompliance with the mandate. Judge Joseph Bueltel sentenced her to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
"You wanted to make money over the interest of public safety," Bueltel said while reading the verdict. "You don't recognize the law. You don't think you're subject to the law."
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As she was escorted out, Hanson shouted, "Liberty and freedom!" as bailiffs led her away, according to a report.
Gov. Tim Walz ordered in November 2020 that businesses such as bars, restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues shut down to avoid the spread of COVID-19 before the vaccination became widely available.
Hanson reportedly represented herself and tried to argue the unconstitutionality of Walz's mandate, but the judge explained that for such an argument, she would have to present before a higher court.
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Her verdict came sooner than expected, according to the Star Tribune. A group of her supporters holding a fundraiser at her bar for legal fees hurried to the courthouse to hear the announcement.