US surgeon general pleads not guilty to violating COVID emergency orders

US surgeon general pleads not guilty to violating COVID emergency orders
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams was cited for being in a closed park back in August while he was helping with Oahu's surge testing program. (Source: Hawaii News Now/file)

HONOLULU (Hawaii News Now) — U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to violating emergency COVID-19 orders while on Oahu.

Adams was issued the citation during a trip to Hawaii in August to oversee a federal surge testing program.

Police said Adams was taking pictures at Kualoa Regional Park, which was closed at the time as part of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s emergency order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But Adams told a police officer he didn’t know parks were closed.

“Adams stated he is visiting here to work with the governor for COVID,” the officer wrote, in the citation. “Adams stated he did not know the parks were closed and could not be there."

His attorney, Michael Green, represented him in Kaneohe District Court as Adams' appearance was waived.

Adams and another man charged with him are now headed into Circuit Court for potential jury trials over the crime, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Their Circuit Court arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 2.

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