Kingston barber who defied coronavirus rules last year loses license

KINGSTON, N.Y. — Citing his “untrustworthiness and incompetence,” a New York administrative law judge has revoked the license of a Kingston barber who cut hair last year in violation of the state's COVID 19 restrictions and then tested positive for the illness.

The 25-page ruling, issued May 24 by Judge Aiesha L. Hudson, says Joseph LaLima can no longer operate LaLima’s Barber Shop at 678 Broadway in Midtown Kingston or cut hair anywhere in New York state.

The ruling says LaLima’s privileges were revoked for “practicing barbering while having an infectious or communicable disease” and for “failing to comply with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive orders.”

Operating a barbershop in the state during last spring's COVID-related shutdowns constituted a violation of Cuomo's “New York on Pause” order.

LaLima told The New York Times in May 2020 that he was cutting hair in his home, at the rear of the Broadway building, but not in the shop itself.

LaLima has 30 days to appeal's Hudson's ruling. State Department of State spokesman John Goldman said he believes LaLima plans to do so, but “I don’t believe he’s filed for a stay,” which, if granted, would delay enforcement of the judge's ruling.

LaLima could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Last May, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said of LaLima's actions: “That kind of flouting of the rules is unacceptable and it's disappointing."

Ryan, though, said there was no immediate evidence that LaLima infected any of his customers.


Written by Diane Pineiro-Zucker

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