Judge denies temporary restraining order on Boone County order

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COLUMBIA - A Boone County judge denied a restraining order Friday against the Boone County Health Departments COVID-19 regulations.

The request was brought up on Monday, when a lawsuit was filed against Director Stephanie Browning by the owner of Tiger Tots, Paul Prevo. 

Prevo and his attorney said they agree with the states order, but that the county's doesn't have an end date, which they take issue with.

The attorney for Browning said the order doesn't violate city code.

This started almost two weeks ago, when some Columbia businesses met to discuss the health departments order.

At that meeting was Boone County Commissioner Fred Parry. Other commissioners took issue with him being there, because he works for the county.

"Do you realize a lawsuit against the health department would be a lawsuit against the county?" Dan Atwill, presiding commissioner, said.

"That’s why I’m not involved," Parry replied.

Earlier this week, there was supposed to be a commission meeting scheduled, but it was cancelled the day before.

Parry says this was because of the lawsuit, but another Commissioner, Janet Thompson, initially said it was because of Missouri's open records law. It requires meeting agendas to be posted 24 hours before the meeting.

Thompson then said that the lawsuit played into that decision.

“Because of what we understood to be Commissioner Parry’s involvement in the lawsuit, yeah," she said. "That’s a problem that creates an internal conflict."

Thompson said the bigger issue now isn't on what Parry has or hasn't done.

“The real question becomes not what Commissioner Parry has done, or not done," she said. "But the real question is how do we keep this community safe, how do we keep this community moving forward.”

KOMU reached out to both Parry and Atwill, but did not hear back.