Iron Pig Smokehouse refused to abide by Whitmer’s second lockdown last fall and remained open. “We felt like there’s a moral fiduciary responsibility to our staff and to our creditors as well,” owner Ian Murphy told reporters in November.
Whitmer’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development took Iron Pig to court to strip it of its food license, a process that dragged out for months. Even after Whitmer said restaurants could partially reopen to in-person dining, her representatives continued to pursue legal action against the eatery.
“Given the operations of The Iron Pig over the last few months… there’s not much confidence about the operations of Iron Pig moving forward,” Assistant Attorney General Eileen Whipple argued in court. “Regardless, the question before this court, as we’ve discussed, is whether or not Iron Pig is currently operating with a suspended license in violation of the food law. We don’t believe there’s any dispute that they are.”
Health workers admitted in court they could not “confirm a specific case of (coronavirus) to the restaurant.”
Now, the Iron Pig Smokehouse owner is retaliating, suing her administration “for fines and loss of business he received after defying state orders during last fall’s indoor dining closures.”
“Because Defendant Gretchen Whitmer’s EOs [executive orders] that closed Plaintiff’s business were declared to be unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court, the EOs were not a valid exercise of the State’s Police Power,” the filing reads.