Just when you thought the Piecemakers would go to their deaths rather than submit to government inspection, they placed a call to the county health department offering to make peace. Amazing what a few days in jail does for the soul.
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.
An 85-year-old grandmother and leader of a small religious sect was sentenced Friday to six days in jail for refusing to let health inspectors into a tearoom the group runs.
The group, led by a feisty, 85-year-old, camouflage-clad grandmother, has battled the county for years over a laundry list of code violations, claiming the law of God is greater than the law of man.
A jury convicts three members of the Christian group for operating eatery without a license and resisting arrest.
She and two others are charged with a series of misdemeanors, including operating a restaurant without a permit and obstruction of justice.
Three members of a Costa Mesa religious sect were in court Thursday on charges of operating a restaurant without a proper permit and of blocking a health inspection, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Scott Steiner. At a pretrial hearing in Orange County Superior Court, the three members of the Piecemakers were represented for the first time by attorney Robert Miller, Steiner said. The pretrial hearing was continued, and a jury trial is scheduled for Feb. 28.
NEWPORT BEACH – Three members of the Piecemakers are digging in for a showdown with the district attorney while a former member of the religious group has entered into a plea bargain. Marie Kolasinski, 84, and Doug Follette, 51, pleaded not guilty Thursday to running a restaurant without a health permit and resisting authorities. Judy Haeger, 58, and Kolasinski pleaded not guilty to resisting health inspectors. Follette and Haeger face up to 18 months in prison and Kolasinski faces up to 30 months if convicted. The allegations stem from an Oct. 26 court-ordered inspection of the home-style eatery inside Piecemakers
Even as they face charges, members of a Christian sect vow to stand firm against health laws. Immediately after appearing in court Monday on criminal charges of operating without a proper permit and blocking a health inspection, members of a Costa Mesa Christian sect vowed they would continue to serve food in their Country Store tea room. Seven members of the Piecemakers, a Christian group that operates a craft store and restaurant at 1720 Adams Ave. in Costa Mesa, were arrested when they refused entrance to county health inspectors during a court-ordered inspection on Oct. 26. The District Attorney’s office
With seven members facing arraignment, Piecemakers vow to resist health agency’s enforcement efforts. It was business as usual at the Piecemakers Country Store in Costa Mesa Monday, despite a county health agency’s order to stop serving prepared food. Members of the Piecemakers, a Christian religious sect that operates a craft business and tea room, could face fines and jail time if they do not comply with the Orange County Health Care Agency’s order to cease all unapproved food preparation and food service. The Piecemakers’ 84-year-old founder, Marie Kolasinski, said the group will not comply with the agency’s mandate. “We’re not