‘It begins’: Health department posts closure sign at Madsen’s; owner responds

Less than a day after a judge ruled against the City of Lincoln's motion for an injunction against a local pool hall, it appears the city has renewed its efforts. 
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Less than a day after a judge ruled against the City of Lincoln’s motion for an injunction against a local pool hall, it appears health officials have renewed their efforts to close the business.

Signs were posted on the business Friday morning by the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department saying “By order of the Health Director this area is closed until authorized to reopen by the Health Director.”

Owner Ben Madsen arrived at the business and took the signs down.

Madsen posted a video to Facebook prior to arriving at the business. “It begins,” he said in the video. “If you don’t think that they’re capable of going against the truth and if you think that they’re bluffing you’re wrong.”

A district judge on Thursday dismissed the city’s motion, saying an injunction was unnecessary when the order could be carried out by law enforcement. Madsen’s attorney, J.L. Spray, told Channel 8 Eyewitness News neither he or his client believed the issue had been settled.

“They absolutely have to silence me because I am the person standing against their tyranny,” Madsen said in the Facebook video. “So believe me when I tell you this fight is far from over.”

City officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

J.L. Spray, Maden’s attorney, still contends that Interim Health Director Pat Lopez has not been duly appointed to the position. Spray argued in court that Lopez’s appointment is not valid and any order from her should not be viewed a valid either.

Reached Friday morning by phone, Spray told Channel 8 Eyewitness News his client views the new order as null.

“He’s open for business,” Spray said. “They’re serving some great hamburgers.”

A Channel 8 Eyewitness News Reporter is on the scene working to get more details.

This is a developing story, we will continue to provide details as they become available. 

 

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