Saugerties auction shut down for violating non-essential businesses ban

Over the weekend, local social media was buzzing with an image of a sign posted on the door of NJA Auctions, located in the Simmons Plaza in Saugerties, which stated the use of face masks and social-distancing would not be enforced. “If this makes you uncomfortable, we advise that you do not enter. You are a free citizen here to make your own decision.” 

The message of defiance was shared widely on social media and, according to town Police Chief Joseph Sinagra, led to a total of 13 complaint referrals from the New York State on PAUSE Enforcement Task Force. The complaints stated that the business, which is not essential according to state criteria, was open on Saturday, May 16 with many customers in attendance. 

Earlier today, the Town of Saugerties Building Department accompanied by Saugerties Police served Steve Jolley, the owner of NJA Auctions, with a Cease and Desist Order, closing the business down until the state reopens this class of business. 


“Failure by NJA Auctions to comply with the building department order in addition to the governor’s executive order will result in law enforcement action in the form of criminal charges lodged against the owner and anyone else found to be in violation of the law,” said Sinagra.

The NJA Auctions Facebook page addressed the situation yesterday. 

“As all of you know that actually took the time to talk, this was not about the money,” reads the post. “This was about our rights and our freedom. I will continue to do my business, my way. Friendly, safe and respectful to those who show me the same.”

It stated that the business had been open for a month though the sign had only been up a few days. “Now one little crybaby takes a picture and here comes the hoard.”

You read the rest of the post here.

There are 17 comments

  1. Julie Maikels

    When I see those people who are not wearing masks or not social distancing in public areas, I know that those people do not care about seniors in their 70’s and the danger they expose them to or those who are younger with special health problems. Possibly they would care more and follow these simple rules if they had someone close to them catch this terrible virus and then they might actually realize the damage it can do. So many have endangered their very lives to help others that this type of disrespect will not be forgotten. Yes, we are Americans and have our rights and freedoms but most of us really care about others and are willing to do what we can to help each other even if it takes a little sacrifice or discomfort!

  2. Roadshow Magic.

    Mr. Jolley boasts that he is behaving in a “friendly, safe and respectful” manner.

    Yet by consciously disobeying the law, and threatening the public with possible exposure to a lethal virus, (that has already killed over 90,000 Americans), he’s hardly being friendly, safe or respectful. He’s being selfish and needlessly reckless.

    This virus doesn’t discriminate. It will kill you whatever “rights” you think you possess.

  3. Judith Kerman

    I keep remembering that comment attributed to Stalin: one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. Too many people seem to share Stalin’s attitude.

  4. George C

    If anyone that has been foolish enough to visit this establishment comes down with Covid 19, or anyone in you’re household becomes ill, you should seek legal council and sue them for any medical bills and damages.
    They committed a crime, and any damages resulting from that would be ample grounds.
    I’m sure there would be many public minded lawyers that would relish this opportunity.
    Hit them where there only allegiance is, their money.

    1. Captain Trips

      This is bad advice. You can not sue him. Proving that you were infected with the virus at this Bozo’s place of business would be impossible in a court of law. Tying up our already overabused court system, with frivolous, unwinable lawsuits would just further burden the system. By not visiting this thoughtless antagonist’s business, and letting him know that, this town will not put up with such irresponsible ownership. Hit him where it hurts, and drive him out.

  5. Maya Rao

    I support this business owner. Big box stores are open and small ones are not? Who gets to decide who is essential or not? (Mr Wordsworth – government has found you obsolete) If masks worked then why are businesses even shut down along with curfews/blocked off parks? If masks worked then why are prisoners of violent crimes released early?

    1. Bill H

      Because masks alone DON’T work. How were you able to learn about masks and not learn about other important precautions? This is not a matter of choosing the precautions you like and ignoring the others. That attitude has lead to the continued spread of the virus. Thank goodness enough of us are cooperating so that we have at least slowed it down.

  6. Bill H

    Any business owner that puts their own self-proclaimed individual rights above the rights of rest of us is a misguided fool. I say fool because many us will remember who in our community sacrificed for the health and wellbeing of our community, and who selfishly did not, and we will no longer patronize their businesses. That goes for monopolizing big businesses (which we do not need anyway) and small ones who should know better. We are the bread and butter of small businesses, and I’ll be damned if I spend my money at a business that puts us all at risk during an epidemic while claiming this new bastardized, selfish version of “individual rights,”

  7. Captain Trips

    The trouble Bill H., Is, “misery loves company”. There are many ignorant, selfish fools out there, why just look too 1600 Pennsylvania, and see the biggest of them all.

    1. Bill H

      Agreed. I hope this is a one-term clown show. I hope people that see him as their man will eventually see him for what he really is, a man that used them as pawns (the only pawns left that he can maneuver) to increase his fame and fortune.

  8. Jp

    Trump… did he come into this conversation? Do you people dream, think, and obsess over Trump day and night? Get over it, and get a life! As far as this business, either go there or don’t, I am sure he doesn’t really care. Hes let it be known where he stands, whether you like it or not, tough!

    1. Captain Trips

      JP, just wanted to answer your question, as it seems, that you missed the part where the president was brought up; the story was about an “ignorant fool” , ergo the mention of the resident of the WH. Funny that you had indeed missed that part of the conversation, when in your response, you seem to reiterate what an ignorant fool this business owner was/is by not following protocol and rule of law. Just wanted to clear up your confusion of current affairs, and their subsequent conversations…

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