As Arlington gym closes, a Snohomish barber continues to cut

PA Fitness closed after the state attorney general filed a lawsuit. “We would lose,” a co-owner conceded.

OLYMPIA — Two Snohomish County businesses that defied the governor’s stay-home order are now facing legal battles with the state Attorney General’s Office.

An Arlington gym that reopened earlier this month closed Tuesday night after Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit in Snohomish Superior Court, one of the business’ co-owners said.

And now Snohomish barber Bob Martin, who’s been illegally cutting hair all month, could face a similar fate. Ferguson’s office sent him a letter saying he has 48 hours to close up shop or he’ll face legal action.

“I am not going to close,” Martin told The Daily Herald on Tuesday. “I don’t think they’d dare try that, but they can if they want to.”

After shuttering in March, PA Fitness in Arlington welcomed customers back on May 11 with some social-distancing guidelines. Shortly after, Ferguson sent the gym a cease-and-desist order. On Monday, Ferguson sued co-owner Michael Jellison in Snohomish County Superior Court, which led Jellison to close the business.

Jellison had a response similar to Martin’s earlier this week. Then he talked to his lawyer.

“After words from our attorney, he stated that it would cost not only me, but my partners as well, millions of dollars to fight and we would lose,” he wrote on the gym’s Facebook page.

Jellison could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Martin declined an interview Wednesday because he was cutting hair.

Ferguson’s lawsuit alleges that by remaining open, the gym was endangering public health and engaging in unfair business practices because competitors followed the state’s rules. That violates the state Consumer Protection Act, the attorney general said.

Gym ownership said it plans to sue the state Thursday to block it from enforcing the governor’s stay-home order.

An online fundraiser to pay for the gym’s legal battles had raised more than $5,000 as of Wednesday.

The gym’s Facebook page was also calling for customers to call Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert to complain about the stay-home order. Ownership may sue the city, as well, according to the page.

“Can we recall a mayor?” the Facebook page said.

Arlington city administrator Paul Ellis said the city’s only involvement in the dispute was a letter sent to PA Fitness, warning management of possible legal consequences of defying the governor’s order, he said.

The city doesn’t “get to pick and choose” which laws it enforces, Ellis said.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Lynnwood’s car tab fee and utility tax on chopping block again

City Council members will talk about repealing them. If they do, the mayor is prepared to veto their actions.

Most of Compass Health’s clinical employees at the Marysville, Monroe and Snohomish sites will transfer to its Everett locations. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
Lawsuit blames counselor’s ‘unethical’ relationship for Marysville man’s death

Joshua Klick was referred to a counselor at Compass Health. Two years later he was shot and killed.

Smokey Point Boulevard stretch closed for crash investigation

The road was closed between 136th Street NE and 152nd Street NE after a possibly fatal collision.

Doug Ewing looks out over a small section of the Snohomish River that he has been keeping clean for the last ten years on Thursday, May 19, 2022, at the Oscar Hoover Water Access Site in Snohomish, Washington. Ewing scours the shorelines and dives into the depths of the river in search of trash left by visitors, and has removed 59 truckloads of litter from the quarter-mile stretch over the past decade. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Diving for trash in Snohomish River, biologist fills 59 pickup beds

At Thomas’ Eddy, Doug Ewing estimates he has collected 3,000 pounds of lead fishing weights. And that’s just one spot.

Wade Brickman works through a call with trainer Lars Coleman Friday afternoon at SNO911 in Everett, Washington on May 20, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Difference between life and death’: New 911 tech saves vital seconds

Snohomish County is the first in the nation to get the new technology, which reduces delays on emergency calls.

Nuno Taborda
Former Rolls Royce executive to lead Everett aerospace firm

magniX, which builds electric aircraft motors, has hired Nuno Taborda as its next CEO.

Top row (L-R): Rep. Suzan Del Bene, Sen. Keith Wagoner, Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, Rep. Rick Larsen. Center (L-R): Tamborine Borrelli, Bob Hagglund. Bottom (L-R): Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, Rep. Kim Schrier, Mark Miloscia, Sen. Patty Murray.
As filing ends, campaigning shifts into a higher gear

The ballot will feature intraparty battles, election deniers and 16 challengers to a longtime U.S. senator.

Mountlake Terrace woman arrested in fatal Everett motorcycle crash

Desiree Morin is accused of hitting and killing a motorcyclist while high on methamphetamine. Bail was set at $50,000.

Marysville to pay $3.5M to former students for alleged sex abuse

The district settled the lawsuit over incidents from the 1980s. Kurt Hollstein remained employed until June 2021.

Most Read