A judge in Honolulu on Wednesday dismissed a case against former Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who faced criminal misdemeanor charges for allegedly violating local COVID-19 restrictions while in Hawaii to help with testing efforts.
“This office’s resources are better spent prosecuting other offenses, including serious violations of the Mayor’s emergency orders that pose a real threat to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Alm added.
Adams and Anderson-Villaluz were stopped by Honolulu police officers as the men were getting back in their car after walking through part of Kualoa Regional Park to get to the ocean on Aug. 23.
A Honolulu police officer cited Adams after seeing him with two men “looking at the view taking pictures” at the park, KITV reports.
Adams was in Hawaii to help with COVID-19 testing efforts amid a surge in infections, with their detention by officers taking place less than 24 hours after they arrived in Honolulu.
Following an initial court hearing, prosecutors filed criminal misdemeanor charges against Adams and Anderson-Villaluz, with convictions punishable by up to a $5,000 fine or up to a year in jail, or both.
According to a criminal complaint, Adams told the officer he was visiting Hawaii to work with the governor on COVID-19 and didn’t know parks were closed.
Adams had been granted a government exemption from requirements that travelers to Hawaii quarantine for 14 days because he was helping the state, his attorney, Michael Green, said.
The two men entered not guilty pleas through their attorney at a Nov. 2 arraignment.
Green said he spoke to Adams after the motion to dismiss was submitted Tuesday, saying Adams “was thrilled” by the development.