Kenady appeals judge upholding COVID fines

The owner of That One Place in Port Orchard has appealed a judge’s decision to uphold $132,000 in fines handed down by the state for serving customers indoors during COVID restrictions.

Craig Kenady’s appeal — called a petition to review — centers on administrative judge Jeffery A. Friedman’s decision upholding the penalties. The fines were based on 11 citations issued to the restaurant for offering dine-in services between Jan. 6-18, 2021, according to the ruling. In-person service was banned by health regulations and a mandate by Gov. Jay Inslee.

The judge deemed each instance of unlawful service as a “willful violation,” court papers say.

The appeal is now before the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, which has 20 days to determine if the restaurant’s request for a review will be granted, said Matt Ross, public affairs manager of the state Department of Labor and Industries. If the petition to review is granted the board will then formally reexamine Judge Friedman’s decision.

If the review request is denied Friedman’s ruling becomes final. The board’s decision can be appealed to Superior Court, officials said.

Fines are on hold as long as court proceedings are going on, Ross said. To help raise legal defense funds, Kenady has held at least one fundraiser since the court’s initial decision and set up a GiveSendGo website.

The future of the That One Place, at least under the ownership of Kenady, is up in the air. Within weeks of the judge’s decision to uphold the fines, Kenady posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page that he is selling the business.

Kenady did not respond to a request for comment.