The governor’s criticism comes as he argues local governments largely in downstate New York have failed to enforce social distancing and mask rules. State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker chided Schneiderman in a Monday letter and questioned how Southampton could have issued a permit for an event that posed a public health threat.
In response, Schneiderman said the town is also investigating the concert, vowed to hold organizers accountable and defended the town’s decision to permit the concert.
“The town is greatly disturbed by reports of what occurred at the event and are investigating this matter and will hold the organizers accountable,” he said in a Tuesday letter to Zucker.
Schneiderman said the concert’s special event permit didn’t approve any place for attendees to gather, and instead required organizers to follow federal, state and local social distancing and health protocols.
“For most of the evening, the event appeared to be running smoothly,” Schneiderman wrote. “It wasn’t until later in the evening that town officials observed possible permit violations occurring in an area immediately in front of the stage. There was no reference to such an area in the permit application and the town did not approve any such gathering space.”
Schneiderman acknowledged that he and the police chief were present “earlier in the evening” at the concert. He said a police detail, the chief fire marshal, “several support staff”were present at the event.