KOB Web Staff
Updated: July 20, 2020 08:52 PM
Created: July 20, 2020 08:39 PM
ROSWELL, N.M. - Organizers at Alien Motor Speedway in Roswell continue to hold races, despite Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s ban on mass gatherings amid COVID-19. According to their website and Facebook page, races will be held July 25th.
According to New Mexico Department of Health, a notice of ‘Contemplated Action of Assessment for Civil Administrative Monetary Penalties Pursuant to PHERA for Violation of the Public Health Order’ was issued to Stephen Therrien and General Manager, Rue Stone on July 16th.
The notice reads in part:
"The New Mexico Department of Health ("Department") has been notified that Alien Motor Speedway has operated in violation of the Public Health Orders dated June 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020, respectively, which prohibited mass gatherings defined as "any public gathering, private gathering, organized event, ceremony, parade, or other grouping that brings together five (5) or more individuals in a room or connected space, confined outdoor space or an open outdoor space." The Public Health Orders also required the closure of recreational facilities, including event venues.”
"By this Notice, the department gives notice that, pursuant to the Public Health Emergency Response Act ("PHERA") at NMSA 1978, 12-10A-19, the Department intends to impose upon Alien Motor Speedway a civil administrative penalty of 5,000 per day that the business has continued (and continues) to operate in violation of the Public Health Order. As of the date of this notice, Alien Motor Speedway has operated in violation of the Public Health Order on three separate occasions (June 27, 2020; July 10, 2020; and July 11, 2020) and is therefore assessed a combined total civil administrative penalty of $15,000. Additionally, by this notice, the Department demands that Alien Motor Speedway immediately cease and desist in its violation of the Public Health Orders. Continued violation of the Public Health Order after the date of this Notice will result in additional monetary penalties."
"Alien Motor Speedway is known to have held races at its racetrack in Roswell, New Mexico on June 27, 2020, July 10, 2020 and July 11, 2020, in violation of the Public Health Orders. Alien Motor Speedway publicized these events on its website and on the Facebook website, where it documented the time and dates of the races and the winners from each racing event. State Police first issued a cease and desist notice to Alien Motor Speedway on or about June 20, 2020, and subsequently issued citations to Stephen Therrien of Alien Motor Speedway on June 27, 2020, and again on July 10, 2020. Alien Motor Speedway has also advertised a race that is scheduled to occur on July 18, 2020 in violation of July 13, 2020 Public Health Order."
According to DOH, Alien Motor Speedway may request an administrative evidentiary hearing within five business days of the notice via certified U.S. Mail to contest the proposed action. If they do not request a hearing to contest the proposed action, they will forfeit the right to a hearing to contest the proposed action, and the proposed action will become final and a final written order assessing the monetary penalty will be issued by the Department of Health Cabinet Secretary.
Statement from the governor’s office:
“There are steep financial consequences for continued flagrant violations of the public health order and endangering public health and the lives of New Mexicans, as this speedway has done. They have been issued a cease-and-desist and a notice of contemplated action by DOH. The speedway will be held accountable one way or another.”
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