Statement from AG Yost Regarding Enforcement of Ohio Department of Health’s Order to Preserve Personal Protective Equipment During a Pandemic Emergency

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — The following statement may be attributed to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost:

“Establishing roles in a crisis is critical. In the current COVID-19 crisis, the Attorney General’s office plays a specific role. We are the prosecutor and the Ohio Department of Health is the police officer. My office will take quick enforcement action once an investigation is completed by the Department of Health, when facts to support a violation are determined, and a case is forwarded to my office. That is the standard protocol.

In Ohio, the Attorney General’s office lacks the extensive and explicit investigatory authority to independently take action with regard to this order. That authority lies with the Department of Health as the regulatory agency under Ohio Rev. Code 3701.04 and Ohio Admin. Code 3701-83-06. If the Department of Health determines through an investigation that Dr. Acton’s order was violated by any surgical facility in Ohio, my office stands ready to play our role and pursue legal action on behalf of the Ohio Department of Health.

Complaints regarding possible violations of Dr. Acton’s order should be filed with the Ohio Department of Health, as the department serves as the investigatory arm. In this instance, the attorney general plays the role of the prosecutor, not the cop.”

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