EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is currently in effect in El Paso County and lasts until January 4.
However, on New Years Eve, Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a statement on Twitter regarding the restaurant closings.
Oscar Utarte, El Paso County agent for the First Police Station, said the statement could be confusing for El Paso businesses. From companies Agent Utarte says his agents have worked hard to educate and have seen greater compliance with county judge orders recently.
“This is going to cause confusion, you know one is our county judge and the other is the governor of Texas and you know when we were there the community would tell us that the governor of Texas has over authority than the county judge, so we will not abide by the curfew or the lockdown, ”Utarte said.
Adding that this New Years weekend, the constable’s officers who enforce the curfew and other COVID-19 county ordinances are on vacation leave. Utarte says they have been working overtime in recent months to enforce the law. Tell KTSM 9 News that prior to the governor’s statement, he had a good impression that El Paso businesses continued to comply with orders, as he had seen in recent weeks.
“You know that any statement made by someone in power carries a lot of weight, so the community looks at those tweets or posts on Facebook and they follow them,” Utarte said. “You know, hey, he’s an elected official with a lot of power, that’s what he tells me to do, so I’m going to follow him, so it’s definitely causing a lot of confusion in our community. “
El Paso County Commissioner David Stout told KTSM 9 News that the county’s curfew is still in effect although its enforcement is a challenge.
“You know it’s hard that we don’t have enough enforcement, obviously it’s hard to fully enforce, so it’s up to individuals and business owners to take it upon themselves and do the right thing. El Paso County Commissioner David Stout said.
Stout added that he had learned that El Paso could be the next contender in a state lawsuit over the curfew.
“I mean I haven’t seen anything from our legal department yet, but you know it’s something that wouldn’t surprise me if we got into this litigation,” Stout said.
Stout says the county is ready for trial if and when it comes. The curfew persists despite what the governors’ statement says.
“Please don’t listen to him, that’s basically what we were asking for, was to ask companies to do the right thing, whether the governor tells you or not that it is. legal or not in his eyes. “