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‘We ain’t paying crap’: Italian restaurant racks up $10K in fines for opening before governor allows — but owners are defiant

Despite racking up $10,000 in fines for opening up early in violation of Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus lockdown, Palmyra restaurant Taste of Sicily remains defiant, PennLive reported.

“Some rob you with a gun, while others rob you with a pen,” co-owner Mike Mangano noted to the outlet, referring to Wolf. “We ain’t paying crap.”

imageImage source: WPMT-TV video screenshot

What are the details?

Taste of Sicily has gained regional notoriety for reopening its dining room in mid-May, earlier than it was allowed, PennLive said.

imageImage source: WPMT-TV video screenshot

Co-owner Christine Wartluft — Mangano’s sister — told the outlet Tuesdays have been difficult as they wait for fines to arrive but added that they’ll challenge them in court.

The restaurant’s owners showed themselves on a Facebook video getting served their latest citation — amounting to a $4,000 fine — by two inspectors from the Department of Agriculture.

“Would you guys care to do an interview?” Wartluft asks in the clip while following the men to their car. “And you call yourselves an American, giving hardworking people a fine? It’s ridiculous.”

Wartluft got emotional in another video after the fines were delivered, as she told viewers she’s “frustrated” with the state’s “unjust” treatment: “This stuff can really wear you out if you don’t keep it in check. I gotta pray through this … Tough day, but God’s got me.”

‘The governor ain’t going to do anything about it’

Mangano told PennLive that Taste of Sicily has no plans to shut down its dining room — or even pay the fines: “There’s absolutely no fear here. We’re going to continue to come to work, and the governor ain’t going to do anything about it.”

Here’s Mangano a few weeks back showing his support for President Donald Trump:

“We don’t care what the repercussions may be. We want the world to see how ridiculous it is for being penalized to go to work,” he said in a press conference last month. “Nobody’s asking business owners to take up arms or go to war. Open your doors already.”

Here’s a video report that ran in early June when the restaurant first got in trouble with the state:

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