THOMPSON, Conn. (WTNH)– A Thompson couple who went to visit their son before he was deployed could face a big fine for violating the state’s travel advisory.
They left for Oklahoma on Labor Day but it’s what they didn’t do when they came back which could get them in trouble.
Thompson first selectwoman Amy St. Onge’s son Caleb is stationed at the Air Force Training base in Altus, Oklahoma. When she found out he would soon be leaving on his first deployment, she and her husband went to visit him before he left.
“When you have a child who’s in the military and you know they’re going be overseas, seeing them and hugging them is more important than anything,” said St. Onge.
When they got back she received an email from the state’s Travel Advisory Team letting her know a complaint had been filed against her for not quarantining, getting tested for COVID-19 , or notifying the state. Oklahoma is one of the hot spot states on the list.
“She did tell me that we would most likely be receiving notification of a fine and that would be five hundred dollars for each of us,” said St. Onge.
“I think whether the fines are imposed or they’re not imposed, you would be hard pressed to find somebody who wouldn’t have gone to see their son or daughter before they deployed,” said Brian Maynard, Commander of American Legion Post #13.
He and others in the community came out in support of St. Onge after she posted a message about the fines on her Facebook page.
“I knew that I probably should have checked for the list. I feel very strongly that government is overstepping,” said St. Onge. “I think they’re doing things that are unconstitutional.”
As the first selectman, St. Onge knows of course there are certain rules in place whether it be on the town level or the state level and they sometimes have to be enforced. But there’s also an appeals process and she and her husband plan to plead their case and fight the fines.
“I think in this case, it could have been looked at to say ‘hey this is a special circumstance with less than one percent serve in the military,’” said Maynard.
“It’s something to remind everybody that again these fines, they’re not law,” said St. Onge. “They have not been voted into law by our elected officials.”
It is however an executive over. According to information provided by the governor’s office, St. Onge has ten business days to request a hearing in front of the Commissioner of Public Health once the fine is levied.