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From $2,000 to zero: DPH drops travel fines against Audrey Hussey

The Department of Public Health dropped its fines against Audrey Hussey of Putnam, one of the first state residents hit with fines for allegedly violating Gov. Ned Lamont’s travel restrictions.

Hussey had traveled to New Orleans for business in July of 2020 and, upon her return, was fined $2,000 for “willfully refusing or failing to self-quarantine or complete the Travel Health Form” after a former neighbor reported her social media posts from New Orleans to Connecticut health officials.

Hussey was one of two people who received the first fines levied by DPH for violations of Connecticut’s COVID-19 travel restrictions. The fines were announced during Lamont’s daily coronavirus press conference on August 10, 2020.

[READ AUDREY’S STORY HERE] 

Although Hussey tested negative for the COVID-19 virus upon her return to Connecticut, DPH issued the substantial fines against the single mother.

Hussey, represented by attorneys and state representatives Craig Fishbein, R-Wallingford, and Doug Dubitsky, R-Chaplin, appealed the fines, arguing that because she was never aware of the travel restrictions, she could not have “willfully” violated the travel restrictions, as written in Lamont’s original executive order.

Hussey traveled to New Orleans from Rhode Island, which, at the time, had not instituted travel restrictions and did not require forms to be filed with the state. Hussey also left for her trip just one day after Connecticut’s travel restrictions went into place and she says she didn’t see the news reports announcing the restrictions.

The appeal hearing determined Hussey had violated the travel restrictions, but the fines were subsequently lowered to $200.

Hussey then challenged the fines in court, saying in an interview with Yankee Institute that she wouldn’t pay anything “without a fight.” DPH subsequently vacated its earlier decision and the $200 fine on March 4, pending the withdrawal of her court challenge.

“I’m not guilty. They’re saying willfully refused or failed to,” Hussey said. “And I did not, and they have no right to do this to people.”

Marc E. Fitch

Marc E. Fitch is the author of several books and novels including Shmexperts: How Power Politics and Ideology are Disguised as Science and Paranormal Nation: Why America Needs Ghosts, UFOs and Bigfoot. Marc was a 2014 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow and his work has appeared in The Federalist, American Thinker, The Skeptical Inquirer, World Net Daily and Real Clear Policy. Marc has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Western Connecticut State University. Marc can be reached at [email protected]

4 Comments

  1. Audrey Hussey
    March 10, 2021 @ 11:15 pm

    Thank you, marc!!

    Reply

    • Dennis crowe
      March 11, 2021 @ 8:24 pm

      Thanks to Marc fitch, craig fishbein and doug dubitsky – and to audrey hussey for taking a stand!!

      Reply

  2. Marjorie Bonadies
    March 13, 2021 @ 9:53 am

    Bravo!! FiRst to Audrey hussey and with immense admiration for reps Dubitsky and fishbEin. Thank you for representing (quite literally) audrey and fighting the governing by fiat emergency powers placed by Lamont. The Emergency powers need to end!! ⚖️

    Reply

  3. Sylvie Grenier
    March 14, 2021 @ 9:07 pm

    Thank you for addressing this issue. The QUARANTINE is against this countries founding laws. We quarantine the sick! I praise the lawyers for taking this case as well! Wish we were more Like florida and texas

    Reply

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