New information just revealed that a wedding reception hosted by Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton last year violated state and county COVID-19 regulations.
According to now released local reports, Becton, a Democrat who has been District Attorney of Contra Costa County since 2018, had told neighbors that around “20 to 30” extra cars would be parked around her house on August 1, 2020. The dozens of people from different households violated local and state gathering laws, especially since Contra Costa County was being specifically monitored for higher COVID-19 rates in early August.
Becton told the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday that she had held a “small, outdoor wedding and adhered to state and county restrictions,” with guests wearing masks and socially distancing. However, even with those restrictions, large weddings and wedding receptions such as Becton’s were specifically not permitted in the County at the time, and violated state and local regulations. The serving of food and alcohol also violated state and local regulations, as did live music.
Becton’s willful violations of COVID-19 restrictions is only the latest in a long list of California politicians who have broken state and local mandated COVID orders since March 2020, despite touting the orders for everyone else to follow.
Both Governor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed were caught attending parties at the famed French Laundry restaurant in Napa County, going against their own stay-at-home orders and violating numerous local health ordinances in the process, such as having too many people from different households there and eating inside rather than outside. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo broke similar restrictions in November over a Thanksgiving meal, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi getting her hair done at a then-restricted salon in San Francisco. Even the strict total indoor and outdoor restaurant dining ban that stretched from November 2020 until last month caught some notable violators like Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.
COVID-19 Gathering Violations
“Becton is just the latest,” Bay Area lawyer Steph DiFazio said. DiFazio has advised some local lawmakers on following certain COVID-19 regulations. “If it’s an honest mistake and they admit to it, that should be it. After all, no one is perfect. But every lawmaker caught has scrambled up something that they either deny it or try and say what they did was ok. Even worse, repeat offend. I mean, Newsom backed off on it for a long time, with new details about the dinner digging him in more and more because he would deny a certain aspect, like it being outside rather than inside and wearing masks, until photos were released that showed otherwise.”
“With Becton, she is trying to make it sound like not a big deal right now, like everyone wearing masks and social distancing, but it doesn’t change the fact that it violated regulations. If pictures come out from the wedding, it will be very interesting to see just how on the level she was.”
“And note, apologies are really hard to pull out of lawmakers when it comes to this. Newsom only gave one after a delay and overwhelming evidence. Becton is still saying it was ok since no guest got COVID-19 from there.”
Becton insisted on Sunday that she didn’t knowingly violate any restrictions.
“I had a wedding in my yard that was really based upon the love that we shared,” said the DA on Sunday. “I hope that I did not do anything that was in violation of any rules. If I did, it certainly was not my intent.”
Becton’s reception and associated violations has drawn the ire of many in the state, with many calling the DA a “hypocrite” for violating regulations that she herself had touted at the same time.
“She would have to be deaf, dumb and blind to not know that our governor and our state health officials have strongly discouraged, and at times banned, gatherings of any size,” Center for American Liberty CEO and Lawyer Harmeet Dhillon noted on Sunday. “Her tone deaf, crass remark about how ‘we don’t just get married in my community, we have a celebration,’ that’s literally every community in the world. Literally every civilization celebrates marriage with a gathering. It’s human nature.”
“It blows my mind. I just celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary this weekend. It did not occur to me, as a person who respects the law, though I disagree with it, to have a celebration — notwithstanding the fact that it’s very clear that some celebrations are barred by law right now.”
In even blunter terms, a Contra Costa County woman anonymously told the Globe that “I had planned my wedding for months, but had to cut back to just close family this year because of COVID-19. I don’t even think it’s very serious, but I did so out of respect for everyone coming. Then I find out she had, what, dozens of people for the wedding she hosted? You won’t believe how angry I am. Homeless people follow COVID regulations better than she does.”
More details of the wedding and alleged violations are expected in the coming days.
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