Town votes to rescind license of N.J. gym whose owners repeatedly defied coronavirus restrictions

Published by NJ.COM

Summary generated on August 11, 2020

    A borough council in Camden County voted Tuesday to rescind the business license of a gym that has repeatedly defied a state order to close its doors under coronavirus restrictions.

    The Bellmawr council voted 5 to 1 to rescind the mercantile license of Atilis Gym after an hour-long hearing that featured comments from the gym owners' attorney, the borough's lawyer and council members.

    One of the gym owners, Ian Smith, sat in the council chamber, along with a half dozen police officers and 10 members of the public allowed to attend in seats spaced 6-feet apart.

    The borough council revoked the license following nine pairs of citations against Smith and his business partner Frank Trumbetti, and an arrest for defying a state executive order to keep their gym closed as part of the coronavirus pandemic response.

    Murphy has been a target of Trumbetti and Smith, 33, in an ongoing campaign they are waging against the restriction on opening Atilis Gym.

    "Atilis Gym's brazen conduct is abhorrent to an organized judicial system, jeopardizes the public health and the safety of New Jerseyans, and must not be tolerated," the state Attorney General's office has said.

    "It is clear that additional sanctions and relief are necessary to coerce Atilis Gym's compliance with the court's order."

    The AG's office last week recommended fines of up to $10,000 a day and possible imprisonment for Trumbetti and Smith who were found to be in contempt of a state executive order to remain closed during the coronavirus pandemic shutdown.

    Trumbetti and Smith kicked in a plywood barricade at the front door of the gym earlier this month and reopened it to patrons, officials said.

    Trumbetti and Smith were also arrested by Camden County sheriffs at the gym on July 27 and brought to a holding cell of the Bellmawr police after refusing to leave.