BELLAIRE — Antrim County residents won’t face local charges if they violate the governor’s COVID-19 orders, the county’s prosecutor says.

A release from Antrim County Prosecutor Jim Rossiter this week contends the state’s actions amid the pandemic have left people “confused, angry and questioning the authority and actions of the government.”

He calls Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “large number” of executive orders lacking in clarity and cites issue in the fact that the Michigan Legislature did not agree to extend the state of disaster/emergency.

“What was already confusing has now been thrown into chaos,” Rossiter writes. “Prior to this extension, there were questions about the governor’s authority regarding certain areas addressed by the executive orders.”

It makes enforcement of these orders difficult and confusing, he continues, and lawsuits have been filed by several parties alleging the actions violate the First, Second and Fourteenth Amendments.

They’re among several reasons he cites in a decision to not enforce the executive orders.

Rossiter said he’ll instead be referring any questions, enforcement and complaints to the Office of the Attorney General.

“This is not a decision I have undertaken lightly,” Rossiter writes.

To date, the governor has extended a state of emergency through May 28.

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