Franklin County Commissioners meeting gets heated over mask mandate
PASCO, Wash. — Tuesday’s Franklin County Commissioners Meeting started with a contentious debate over mask requirements as Commissioner Clint Didier (District 3) refused to wear a mask despite serious concern expressed by his peers.
As Didier attempted to begin the meeting, Commissioner Brad Peck (District 1) brought attention to the fact that his peer refused to wear a mask. This comes just a day after a statewide mask mandate was implemented by Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington health officials.
“Mr. Chairman, I suppose it falls to me once again to point out that you’re conducting yourself in a manner that is not only inappropriate but unlawful,” Peck said.
Didier cut Peck off, expressing his discontent with the mask requirement. Peck asked if Didier needed to receive legal counsel, to which he replied that he already had. Peck once again asked if Didier really intended to conduct the meeting without a mask, to which he proudly answered “Yes sir.”
A handful of Franklin County community members, some of whom refused to wear masks, were present for the meeting. As the discussion grew more intense, spectators inserted themselves into the conversation, eventually speaking over county officials and later making personal remarks against elected officials.
“I’m not going to participate in an unlawful meeting where you incite people—where you incite others to violate the law,” Peck proclaimed before leaving the room. Though he returned briefly, Peck eventually left the meeting for good.
Didier professed that not wearing a mask was his free will. Just before Peck left the room, Didier turned to Commissioner Rocky Mullen (District 2) and asked if he’d conduct the meeting.
“It is my understanding that if we conduct the business—conduct the meeting; allowing people to come in here unmasked, that nothing that happens today would be legal,” Mullen said.
An unruly individual in the stands interrupted Mullen repeatedly, asking to see the law (referring to the mask mandate). Mullen expressed concern about the legality of the meeting.
“There’s people that have time invested for discussions that are going to happen today. It’s nothing that I voted for, but I did take an oath of office to represent the people in my community,” Mullen said.
Didier went on to proclaim that Gov. Inslee was an “out of control tyrant,” expressing that he was simply upholding his constitutional rights by not wearing a facemask.
The meeting eventually resumed as planned without Commissioner Peck. Didier never put on his mask despite warnings of the potential legal ramifications.
“We want civil disobedience in this room to make a point. We cannot have our God-given liberties taken away by a Governor—Flat out,” Didier exclaimed.
You can watch the meeting in its entirety below:
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