FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) - Videos of a mostly maskless crowd of 500 on New Year's Eve which shows them singing, shouting, and dancing has drawn the ire of one Florida lawmaker who wants President Donald Trump's private club temporarily closed and fined for possibly violating local coronavirus ordinances.
Democratic state Rep. Omari Hardy filed a complaint with Palm Beach County, urging it to take action against Mar-a-Lago, writing "as far as I know, the law still applies to the President and his businesses."
The county ordinance says indoor businesses must require patrons and employees to wear masks when they are not eating or drinking. The maximum fine for a first violation is $250.
Hardy, who represents a nearby district that is predominately African American, said he was "furious" when he saw photos and videos of the $1,000-per-person party posted on social media. They show patrons packed together on the dance floor as rapper Vanilla Ice, Beach Boys co-founder Mike Love and singer Taylor Dayne performed. He said the partygoers' actions endangered the club's staff and the local community.
"My constituents have been disproportionately affected by every aspect of this virus — medically, educationally, and economically," said Hardy, adding he wore a mask at his wedding a month ago and hasn't hugged his mother in 10 months. "But these out-of-towners for one night couldn't wear a mask. It is offensive and disrespectful."
More than 22,000 Floridians have died of COVID-19.
More from CBSMiami.com
'I Feel Stupid': Fort Lauderdale Woman Claims She's Out $50,000 After Being Duped By Accused Ponzi Schemer'
It's Getting More Expensive To Live In South Florida
Extended Jobless Benefits From Stimulus Package Becoming Available For Floridians
Todd Bonlarron, the county's assistant administrator, said Monday he has forwarded Hardy's complaint to the county's COVID education team, which will investigate and could impose punishment. He said Mar-a-Lago will be treated just like any other business and a decision should be made shortly. He said he is not aware of any previous complaints against the club.
Trump had been scheduled to attend Thursday night's party, but he left Mar-a-Lago a few hours before it began as he spent the weekend trying to overturn his election defeat to President-elect Joe Biden. His sons Don Jr. and Eric attended along with his attorney Rudy Giuliani, Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro, and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who is one of the president's staunchest supporters.
"This is amazing. Vanilla Ice is playing the Mar-a-Lago New Year's Eve party. As a child of the 90s, you can't fathom how awesome that is," Donald Trump Jr. wrote on a Facebook post that included a video of the party. The video showed tightly packed attendees bouncing and singing along as the rapper performed his decades-old hit, "Ice Ice Baby."
Mar-a-Lago managing director Bernd Lembcke and the Trump Organization did not return calls Monday seeking comment.
Last month, a Mar-a-Lago neighbor filed a complaint with the Town of Palm Beach challenging Trump's possible move to Mar-a-Lago after he leaves office this month. When the town agreed in 1993 to convert the private residence into a club, his attorney said he would no longer live there. The town has not announced any decision on that complaint.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
for more features.