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New York State licensing board under fire for failing to wear masks in meeting giving out mask fines

New York State Liquor Authority board have been slammed after board members failed to wear face coverings during a meeting where they issued fines to businesses breaking the safety rule.

The SLA chairman Vincent Bradley and commissioners Lily Fan and Greeley Ford did not wear face masks during Wednesday’s meeting.

The board members, who sat with distance between them, were reviewing bar and restaurant fines during the live-streamed meeting, Times Union reported.








State Liquor Authority's chairman Vincent Bradley (centre) and commissioners Lily Fan (right) and Greeley Ford (left) did not wear face masks during Wednesday's meeting

State Liquor Authority’s chairman Vincent Bradley (centre) and commissioners Lily Fan (right) and Greeley Ford (left) did not wear face masks during Wednesday’s meeting

A member of staff, who was also not wearing a face covering, enters the meeting at one point and hands papers to Ford, who stands up behind an unmasked Bradley to accept the documents.

Around ten minutes after the interaction, the board fined an unnamed organisation $1,500 due to ’employees with no masks’.

The panel approved fines against bars and restaurants for safely violations which were identified in recent compliance checks. 

The panel imposed fines and penalties totalling tens of thousands of dollars during Wednesday’s meeting.

SLA spokesman William Crowley told Times Union: ‘The format of the meeting was designed to provide for social distancing, and we have advised everyone that COVID-related protocols must be followed at all times.

‘But let’s be clear, comparing this isolated lapse during a distanced board meeting to a crowded bar or restaurant where alcohol is present and patrons are literally shoulder-to-shoulder is a stretch.’ 

The panel members sat with some distance between them, though it is not known if they were six feet apart, as they fined an unnamed firm $1,500 due to 'employees with no masks'

The panel members sat with some distance between them, though it is not known if they were six feet apart, as they fined an unnamed firm $1,500 due to ’employees with no masks’

During the meeting a member of staff, who was not wearing a face covering, enters and hands papers to Ford (left), passing closely by both Fan and Bradley

During the meeting a member of staff, who was not wearing a face covering, enters and hands papers to Ford (left), passing closely by both Fan and Bradley

Safety guidance released by the state in spring asks public and private employees to maintain a ‘distance of at least 6ft at all times’, unless safety of the activity requires a shorter distance.

It added that workers who come within 6ft of each other must wear ‘acceptable face coverings’ which cover both the nose and mouth.

The SLA board members were seated with some distance between them, but it is unclear whether they were positioned six feet apart. 

This comes after the board have suspended licenses of at least 168 New York businesses due to ‘egregious violations’, according to SLA records

Andy’s Place, The New Elbo Room and Mark’s Place have all shut down after violations including staff and patrons not wearing face coverings or adhering to social distancing regulations. 

MailOnline has contacted State Liquor Authority for further comment.

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