15 Fresno businesses fined a total of $28,000 for violating 'shelter in place' order

The violators, according to Fresno leaders, range from vape shops to furniture stores.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- 15 Fresno businesses have racked up more than $28,000 in fines for not following the city's 'shelter in place' order for non-essential businesses.

"We do get hundreds of complaints a week of businesses that are not honoring it and we follow up on those complaints," said Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias.

The violators, according to city leaders, range from vape shops to furniture stores. Council President Miguel Arias says the list of fines includes thirteen $1,000 fines and a $10,000 fine for price gouging by a liquor store.

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"In our city we actually assign code enforcement officers to enforce the non-essential closures, where Clovis and other cities haven't done that yet because they're limited to their police officers enforcing," Arias said.

Crazy Bernie's Furniture Store in Northwest Fresno has been fined twice for a total of $6,000 for repeated violations of the city's stay at home order.

RELATED: 'Crazy Bernie' fined $6,000 for violating Fresno's COVID-19 order

The store has been continuing to offer no-touch curbside pickup for online orders.

"They tell me the next one is $10k. Both times I told them I defy this. This is unconstitutional, you cannot tell me to shut down the world wide web. I could be selling to people in Yugoslavia," said owner Bernie Siomiak while holding his Pomeranian Buster.

Arias said, "He was actually warned in March that he shouldn't be operating and then he was cited in April, early April a couple of times. You don't get to $5,000 overnight."

Crazy Bernie was in the middle of a 'going out of business' sale when the pandemic hit.

RELATED: Fresno furniture store, Crazy Bernie's, going out of business

Siomiak said he still plans to continue selling online despite the stern warning by the city.

"I don't believe it's constitutional to tell me I can't load up people outside my store. How ridiculous is that? Gimme one reason why I can't do a curbside pickup of some furniture," Siomiak said.

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