Marie Kolasinski, 85, sentenced to 10 days, 3 years probation for health-inspection infractions.
NEWPORT BEACH – The founder and leader of a religious sect that considers itself answerable only to God’s law was sentenced today to 10 days in Orange County Jail and three years probation for operating a restaurant without a health permit and attempting to run health inspectors out of her Costa Mesa eatery.
The Piecemakers leader, Marie Kolasinski, 85, was taken into custody immediately after the sentencing for her conviction on four misdemeanor counts last year. Two other members of the Piecemakers, Doug Follette, 52, and Judy Haeger, 59, received three years probation for two misdemeanor convictions each.
“Mrs. Kolasinski, you’re going to jail right now,” said Orange County Superior Court Judge Kelly MacEachern. “How much time that you get is up to you.”
Kolasinski repeatedly stated that she did understand the terms of her probation and did not want to go to jail.
“I feel like I serve my country better by working than sitting in jail,” Kolasinski said.
During an October 2005 court-ordered health inspection, about 20 members of the Piecemakers attempted to block the front door of the Piecemakers Country Store in Costa Mesa when health inspectors, accompanied by police, stopped by for a routine inspection. Seven members of the Piecemakers, including the three sentenced today, were arrested at the Adams Street business.
Orange County Health Agency officials encountered repeated resistance when they tried to access the restaurant’s kitchen. The Piecemakers’ food service permit allowed the group to sell pre-packaged food only, not to run a restaurant, officials said.
The Piecemakers, a group of about 25 people who lived and worked together and referred to themselves as devout Christians, have repeatedly said they must answer to God, not the government, and that in God’s eyes they are not guilty of their crimes.