FORKED RIVER, NJ – After showing up with a locksmith at the Forked River Lakeside Diner, which has been serving indoor meals to patrons since June and defying “Murphy’s Law”, Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy said today in the Asbury Park Press, he regrets his decision.
Mastronardy and his sheriff’s officers facilitated an order issued by Governor Phil Murphy’s administration, through the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to change the locks on the door of the Lakeside Dinner. Hours later, the owner changed the locks again and reopened.
On Saturday, Mastronardy went to the restaurant to have a cup of coffee and a muffin.
“We have no plans for any further action and we have a good dialogue with the owner,” Mastronardy said, according to the Asbury Park Press. “We carried out our duties to the best of our ability as we understood them at the time.”
Mastronardy claims he was tricked by the Ocean County Prosecutor and the New Jersey Attorney General and was upset to learn that his agency was positioned to serve as the lead law enforcement authority on the enforcement action against the Ocean County restaurant.
The Sheriff, who is popular with voters in Ocean County found himself in the unusual position of facing criticism from his constituents after News 12 reported the forced closure live on television.
State law enforcement and health department officials claim they have ordered the business to shut down.
Photo – Screen capture NewsNJ12