Governor Gavin Newsom will seemingly stop at nothing to destroy small businesses in California under his most recent draconian COVID-19 shutdown.
Finding little support for his dictatorial mandates from local law enforcement and sheriff offices across California, he has resorted to using obscure state agencies to do his dirty work as discovered by unsuspecting salon owners Wednesday.
Without warning, uniformed, armed officers with the California Department of Consumer Affairs raided the 7-year-old Pomp Salon in North Stockton’s upscale Lincoln Center owned by husband and wife, Dino Ballin and Vicki Kirk.
“About five armed state police officers burst into our salon shouting drop everything you’re doing. Stop, you’re being shut down,” said Kirk.
Kirk, who recorded the incident on her cell phone, said the officers spent an hour questioning them about why the salon who supports forty stylists was open during Newsom’s COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
The stylists did not take well to the interrogation, throwing the officers’ questions right back at them.
“It was one of the worst days of my life to have that scene happen in our salon when we are only trying to work,” said Kirk.
The raid was completely unexpected as Kirk said a state inspector had been in two days prior to ensure the salon was following safety protocols.
“She said it looked like we were doing a good job and she left,” Kirk said.
Do you think governors are overreaching using state agencies as law enforcement?
The salon was issued three misdemeanor citations by the Department of Consumer Affairs Investigation Division.
Talk about a dirty dealings! Nothing like sending an inspector out under the guise of verifying safety protocols, telling them they are doing a fine job and then send in the goons to shut them down and cite them.
In complete defiance, Pomp Salon did not close their doors once the officers left.
“Why does a hair salon have to close, but Target can stay open and Walmart can stay open? Where’s the connection? And, what’s the specific infection rate you’re attributing to these salons?” said Ballin.
Kirk and Ballin honored the initial shutdown orders back in March, closing their doors. That was until they received messages from their stylists pleading for them to reopen because they could not afford to live.
“These stylists were promised assistance by the government that they never got. In some cases, some of my stylists downstairs, still to this day, have not gotten any assistance since March, since the closures in March,” Ballin said.
The Department of Consumer Affairs said in a statement to ABC10 News, “The Board has conducted approximately 14,000 inspections at licensed establishments since the beginning of the pandemic. Any establishment that doesn’t comply with the public health orders that have been put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 may be subject to disciplinary action. Licensees that violate public health orders may be subject to disciplinary action against their license.”
They also indicated that prosecution of the misdemeanor citations is up to the local district attorney’s office.
The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, issued this statement:
“It appears that the Department of Consumer Affairs took it upon their own initiative to do a surprise raid on Pomp Salon in Lincoln Center. The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office was not notified of this raid in advance and in no way participated or sanctioned it. To our knowledge, no other salons or businesses were targeted in the county.”
Let’s hope the District Attorney let’s them drop.
In the meantime, the salon will remain open.
“We just want to keep our homes. We just want to feed our families,” Kirk said.