The company that hosted President Donald Trump for an indoor rally on Sunday was fined $3,000.
“During the event, a compliance officer observed six violations of the directives and the City’s Business Operations Division has issued a Business License Notice of Violation to Xtreme Manufacturing and assessed a penalty of $3,000,” a spokeswoman for the city of Henderson said in a statement to news outlets.
The rally violated requirements on mask-wearing, social distancing, and crowd size.
Xtreme Manufacturing has 30 days to pay the fine or file papers disputing it, the spokeswoman said.
Don Ahern, owner and chairman of the company, said in a prepared statement at a press conference Monday: “I am also a proud American, and believe that it is my patriotic duty to do what is right for our country, and what is right is supporting our great President, Donald J. Trump.”
“The decisions we make and actions we take are always with specific goals in mind. My goal was to continue the great American traditions of the right to assemble, and to free speech, which is no different than the thousands that are allowed to assemble at gaming tables, mask-less pool parties, and protests across the state. I hope that we can come to an end of this activity now that our President has come and gone,” he added.
Ahern said he understood that agencies and cities have jobs to do. He said, “they are possibly being directed, but we respect everyone’s position in this situation.”
Ahern declined to answer additional questions, citing pending litigation.
Several thousand people attended the rally.
Trump’s campaign said rallygoers were checked for high temperatures before entering the venue. They were also given masks. Face covers were not required.
Current rules in Nevada ban any gathering larger than 50 people and require people at events to maintain at least six feet of distance and wear masks.
But, like in many states across the country, the rules have not been enforced during protests.
Michael Van, Ahern’s attorney, pointed out the inconsistency.
“It’s interesting that if it’s a demonstration, it’s OK. If it’s a rally, it’s not OK,” Van told the Associated Press. “There’s just inconsistent application of that declaration.”
Trump thanked Ahern during the rally before telling the crowd that his campaign had tabbed a number of outdoor sites as places to possibly hold the gathering. Then, Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, insisted Trump cancel the rally.
“Today, you’ll hear these phonys back there,” the president said, referring to reporters.
“Well, look at that. Now today you’re going to hear them. They’ll say, ‘Oh, it was in …’ Well, the reason it was, we had five sites, all outside sites, like last night. Tremendous room. And a great gentleman who owns this building said, ‘You know what? What they’re doing is really unfair. You can use my building, Don. I want to thank you, Don.'”
Sisolak took to Twitter to accuse the president of “taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada.”
“Despite reports from his own White House, despite local officials in Southern & Northern Nevada reiterating to the venues the existing restrictions in State emergency directives, tonight, the President is knowingly packing thousands into an indoor venue to hold a political rally,” he said.
“The President appears to have forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global pandemic.”
Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.