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State representative plans to file lawsuit against Pinellas County over their mask ordinance

Posted at 7:10 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 21:47:35-04

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Florida State Representative and Attorney Anthony Sabatini announced another lawsuit against a Tampa Bay county for its mask mandate on Friday.

Rep. Sabatini already filed a lawsuit in Hillsborough County over their mask ordinance. Now, he is planning to sue Pinellas County for theirs.

“If you believe in safety, stay home,” said Rep. Sabatini during a press conference Friday.

Rep. Sabatini met with around 100 supporters outside the Pinellas County Courthouse, declaring Pinellas County’s mask ordinance “unconstitutional.”

“This mandate is not only illegal, not only is it a violation of Florida privacy clause, due process, equal protection, it’s actually just a horrible policy,” said Rep. Sabatini.

He is now calling on the county to amend the order or rescind it completely.

“Under threat of 60 days jail, second-degree misdemeanor, up to a $500 fine, Pinellas County is threatening the livelihood of every single working Floridian in this county,” said Rep. Sabatini.


The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office confirms the county has not fined or arrested anyone for violation of the mask ordinance. They say their first resort is always education and handing out masks.

“I find this really terrible because they are ordering me to wear a mask, even so, I am extremely healthy,” said Antje Victore, a supporter of the lawsuit.

In an interview Wednesday, an official with the Florida Department of Health of Pinellas County (DOH Pinellas) said the county is following the recommendations from the CDC and other health experts.

“The only weapons we have to help fight this spread right now are the ones that help prevent the spread. So we’ve got the masks, the hand washing, we need people to understand that this is really an important way to help curb this virus,” said Tom Iovino, Public Information Officer for DOH Pinellas.

Pinellas County is not directly linking the mask mandate to a case decline, however, since the mask ordinance took effect on June 24, Pinellas County has seen a decline in cases and a slightly lower positivity rate.

You can view those statistics from Pinellas County by clicking here.