Robby Dinero, Owner at Athletes Unleashed in Orchard Park, says he is prepared to continue opening his business while fighting any fines that come his way for doing so. Currently, the business owner and war veteran has been impacted by one charge of $15,000 dollars from the Erie County DOH regarding a gathering at the establishment on November 20, 2020.
Dinero, explaining his position in an interview Tuesday, remarked, “In absolute clear and utter defiance of the Governor, of Mr. Poloncarz and anybody else, I’m opening.” Additionally, he listed the precautions Athletes Unleashed will continue to take, “I promote social distancing in my gym. I promote mask wearing in my gym. I promote sanitizing in my gym.”
Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw didn’t remain quiet long after catching wind of the fine, stating in a release to the press: “The Erie County Executive’s so-called cure is worse than the disease. Instead of protecting business, Mark Poloncarz doubled down his attack on a war veteran and gym owner. We will not take this strong armed, bully tactics any longer. This is why I established, with Robby’s consent, a GoFundMe fundraiser to offset the cost of this ridiculous punitive fine.”
Furthermore, Mychajliw developed a GoFundMe for the business, which according to Dinero, will use the funds for legal fees in challenging the Erie County DOH fine. That GoFundMe can be found here: Fundraiser by Veterans Supporter : Gym Owner Fined by Erie County for COVID Violation (gofundme.com)
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz addressed the situation during a live briefing, stating, “So, they are subject to the rules and laws of the state of the New York. I would hope that the owner would understand that this is not pointing the finger at gyms per say, it’s to try and protect the public’s health.”