GLENVILLE — The state Liquor Authority is investigating possible COVID violations following a congressional hopeful’s election night party on Tuesday.
“The SLA opened an investigation following complaints received alleging violations of COVID-related regulations at an event at River Stone Manor on Nov. 3,” said SLA spokesperson William Crowley on Thursday. “The SLA’s investigation into this matter is currently pending.”
Roughly 150 people attended the bash at River Stone Manor, a Glenville banquet hall, on Tuesday night to watch returns for Republican candidate Liz Joy’s bid against Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, who was re-elected in his run for a seventh term.
While employees wore face coverings, few attendees did, many of whom walked around eating and drinking, as well as standing in tightly-packed groups, an apparent violation of state directives requiring patrons to be seated while doing so.
Events are also capped at 50 people.
Following the event, the county received two complaints submitted through the state’s hotline.
County officials indicated they would also be probing the event.
“[Schenectady County Public Health Services] follows up on all COVID-19 related complaints received by the county,” county spokesperson Erin Roberts said on Thursday.
The county also on Thursday urged anyone who recently attended a “large gathering” to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and to get tested if possible, but stopped short of tying it to the election night party.
“General word of caution,” Roberts said.
Joy has defended the event and said River Stone Manor followed all the rules; that employees were wearing masks, and that food was being served with drinks, as per state directives.
On Thursday afternoon, Joy took to Twitter to criticize The Gazette’s front-page story, singling out “Gazette reporter and ‘Cuomo Gestapo’ Pete Demola” for his handling of the story.
Gazette Editor Miles Reed defended the story and criticized Joy for her Nazi reference to DeMola.
“Joy’s reference to DeMola as a ‘Cuomo Gestapo’ is ignorant and inflammatory,” Reed said. “It’s a lazy trope. Pete’s an outstanding, fair journalist.
“We stand behind the story,” Reed said. “It was based on our staffers’ first-hand observations made while covering the watch party. Our photos and video of the event support our report fully.”