SEA ISLE CITY, N.J. (CBS) — We have an update to an Eyewitness News exclusive story into questionable behavior inside of a Sea Isle City bar from over the summer. A bar that is owned by the area’s mayor.
It felt like we were getting the runaround until late Thursday afternoon. But the Cape May County prosecutor tells CBS3 it reviewed that case and multiple cases of businesses not following COVID-19 restrictions.
Video we obtained from late August shows crowds of people gathering in the patio area of Kix-McNutley’s. Few are wearing masks and physical distancing doesn’t appear to be happening either.
“They should be shutdown. They should be cited and he should be fined,” said Dr. Charles Gallagher.
That’s how, Dr. Gallagher, the Chair of the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department at LaSalle University responded when we showed him the video on Thursday.
The bar is run by Sea Isle City’s longtime mayor, Lenny Desiderio. We showed him the video earlier this month and he responded at the time by saying, “I think they’re doing the best they can.”
Late Thursday afternoon, the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office said no action will be taken against McNutley’s or the mayor because police were not called at the time the video was taken to verify the activity.
Still, we found others faced repercussions for violating COVID-19 restrictions.
In North Jersey, The Factory Restaurant and Lounge was cited by the Jersey City Prosecutor’s Office in part because of a video.
And just this week, Gov. Phil Murphy criticized YouTube stars for a gathering that happened at MTV’s “Jersey Shore” house.
“An egregious display of knucklehead behavior in Sea Side Heights,” Murphy said.
But the governor’s tone changed Thursday when we asked him about the behavior at the Sea Isle City mayor‘s bar.
“What I can say is he’s a heck of a mayor and heck of a freeholder,” said.
Still, some believe the mayor shouldn’t be left off the hook.
“We should hold our politicians to a higher standard,” said Dr.Gallagher.
The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office tells CBS3 that the alcohol control division did stop by Kix-McNutley’s since our story originally aired but they didn’t find anything inappropriate happening.