LANSING - Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today that Fast Splash Car Wash in southeast Michigan is the latest business contacted by authorities for failing to comply with the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order.
The Attorney General's office - in coordination with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy - sent a cease and desist letter today to the business owner. Police have issued four tickets to three of the Fast Splash Car Wash locations for violating Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order, but the business has continued to operate.
Willful violations of the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order can result in a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail for each offense, as well as licensing penalties for businesses and other entities. Violations should be reported to law enforcement agencies overseeing the jurisdiction in which the alleged offense occurred.
When contacted by officers conducting enforcement, employees at multiple car wash locations attempted to mislead authorities by using another police officer's name and insisting that he said the business could stay open. That was not the case.
In fact, the police officer spoke with Fast Splash Car Wash owner Ali Sobh and told him the business must temporarily suspend operations due to its status as a nonessential service.
The Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order was issued to slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and ultimately save lives. The order prohibits any person or entity from operating a business or conducting operations that require workers to leave their homes or places of residence, except to the extent those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct basic minimum operations.
"The State has provided clear guidance that the operations of this type of business are 'not necessary to sustain or protect life' as noted in the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order," Nessel said. "People continue to die each day from COVID-19, and we all must stay the course and comply with the order to protect as many lives as possible. I know Prosecutor Worthy shares my feelings that anyone recklessly disobeying the executive orders and authorities enforcing them, will face consequences."
One of those FAQs specifically address whether car wash businesses can remain open: "No, car washes or car detailing businesses do not employ critical infrastructure workers and in-person operations should closed pursuant to the Executive Order 2020-21."
"Collaboration is a key component to overcoming any public emergency, and each of us must do our part to work through this current COVID-19 pandemic," Worthy said. "This public health emergency has presented challenges for many of us, and I appreciate the leadership coming from the offices of Attorney General Nessel and Gov. Whitmer. In times like these, hard decisions must be made and ones that put the safety of Michigan's residents first are the right decisions to make. When violations are reported and confirmed, they will be taken seriously."
The Attorney General's office recently added a new section to its website, Know Your Employment Rights, to provide Michigan residents with more information on the legal rights of employees and employers under the executive order.