Bellmawr Gym Accuses Governor Murphy of Draining Its Bank Account
The fight between Atilis Gym in Bellmawr and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy continues with finances at the center of the latest round.
Atilis Gym spent much of 2020 refusing to shut its doors to the public amid the coronavirus pandemic, in defiance of state orders from Governor Murphy. As a result, protests in support of the gym broke out, and the gym incurred more than $100,000 in fines.
It appears the financial hardships are beginning to set in for Atilis, and they're now looking for donations. In a new Facebook post, co-owner Ian Smith alleges Gov. Murphy "without warning and without permission took it upon himself to empty our bank account entirely, to the tune of $165,000 in the middle of ongoing litigation.” He's asking supporters to contribute to a GoFundMe campaign as well as purchase Atilis Gym merchandise.
Smith goes on to say he and partner Frank Trumbetti are fighting more than 80 "municipal and criminal charges" and the revocation of the Atilis' business license.
But New Jersey Attorney General’s Office spokesperson Lee Moore counters that accusation, saying in a statement that "the gym’s bank has frozen funds of almost $134,500 after the state obtained a court-entered judgment for that amount in August 2020.", reports Courier Post.
The state could be coming for more money to the tune of another $140,000 for "willful and open contempt" for a court order intended to protect public health. Ian Smith calls the fines “unconstitutional and oppressive.”
According to Courier Post, back in October 2020, Atilis Gym violated a Health Department order (involving COVID-19 restrictions) to stay closed on at least eight days in November and one date in December.
Do you think the state's fines are warranted? Let us know in the comment box below.
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