ORISKANY, N.Y. - Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered a 10-person limit on Thanksgiving gatherings, even in the confines of your own home. The governor is telling sheriff's departments to enforce the rule, even though the state police don’t have to.
Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol talked about the New York State’s Sheriffs' Association issuing a letter in response to the Governor’s executive order.
"We preempt it with the seriousness of the COVID 19, and then we get into the fact that this is unconstitutional for us to do this," said Maciol.
Cuomo addressed the sheriffs' stance during a press briefing.
"You don’t have the right to pick laws that you think you’ll enforce, and you don’t enforce laws that you don’t agree with. Right? That’s not a law enforcement officer. That’s a dictator," he said.
Maciol fired back, saying, "We are not dictators. I just find that ironic that...he’s telling us to violate the Constitution and enforce this executive order."
Maciol says police can only legally enter a person’s house if invited in, if there’s an emergency, or they have a search warrant - but the governor believes his rules apply.
"You’re telling me in my house I can’t have more than 10 people? It’s none of your business what I do in my home. Now of course it is. Laws apply in your home," said Cuomo in a news briefing Monday afternoon.
Maciol also points out there's no written law to go by.
"There’s a legislative process attached to a law. None of that’s happened here."
Maciol says, according to the Cuomo’s own rules that dictate police reform, "the police should not be involved in responding to non-criminal conduct," and the sheriff wouldn’t even know what crime to charge an offender with.
The governor closed with somewhat of a threat.
"If that’s the way you run your law enforcement agency, I don’t consider it a law enforcement agency. So God bless you, but don’t ask me for help," said Cuomo.
It’s hard to know exactly what the governor meant when he said “don’t ask me for help," but Maciol believes it will be some kind of cut in state funding for Oneida County.