Police arrest AL bar owner who defied virus orders
Published 8:00 am Saturday, May 1, 2021
Clear Lake police on Thursday afternoon arrested the owner of Albert Lea’s The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro, Albert Lea Public Safety Director J.D. Carlson said.
Carlson said the warrants for Lisa Hanson were expanded to surrounding states this week and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office approved extradition back to Minnesota.
The warrants were in place since March 10 after Hanson reportedly did not attend a hearing tied to allegations that she violated state executive orders when she opened her restaurant in December and January for in-person dining. The orders were enacted by Gov. Tim Walz to limit the spread of COVID-19.
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The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office in a news release Thursday afternoon said the Sheriff’s Office and Albert Lea Police Department had been conducting surveillance of an Airbnb in Clear Lake. After Hanson was seen leaving the Airbnb by surveillance, she was then arrested by the Clear Lake Police Department and transported to the Cerro Gordo County Jail.
Hanson said in a phone interview earlier this week that the warrants were unlawful and claimed she did not attend the hearing because she did not receive an official summons for the hearing.
She said she decided to remove herself from her home so that “injustice could not be performed against me,” and take her away from working on her cases.
She faces nine misdemeanor criminal charges tied to violating the state executive orders, along with state civil counts.
According to a representative from the Cerro Gordo County Jail Thursday evening, Hanson posted bail at about 5 p.m. and was released from custody.
Later that night, The Interchange posted an interview Hanson did with an organization called Action 4 Liberty, talking about her arrest and the Saturday fundraiser scheduled at the Fountain Lake Park gazebo to raise money for her legal expenses.