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Boy Fined for Selling Hamburgers for Charity Without Permit — Is It Fair? [VIDEO, POLL]


Once again, the idea that no good deed goes unpunished proves itself to be true.

A Chewelah, Washington boy was fined $170 in relation to his fundraising efforts for World War Two veterans. While Justin Peterson, 12, has raised over $25,000 for the Honor Flight Program for vets by selling hamburgers, he was operating without the proper permit and was thus slapped with a fine.

Peterson holds fundraisers for vets all year long and last Saturday (Aug. 4), he was selling his wares in Chewelah City Park when a health inspector popped by his booth and levied the fine for failure to have the correct food permit.

While his mother said, “Shame on us, we didn’t know,” her son was beyond bummed about the penalty, saying, “She charged us for it and I was kind of sad. I was just trying to raise money for vets.” Peterson feels his efforts for those who served our country are “humbling and [it’s] amazing that they’re thanking me!”

The Tri County Health District defended the inspector, who was following policy and the letter of the law, as opposed to the spirit of it. Administrator Dave Windom said, “You don’t want someone in the field making judgment calls on what they consider a worthy cause and cutting people slack. It opens the door for accusations of favoritism.”

There is a silver lining to this black cloud, though. While the fines won’t be dismissed, board members paid them off using personal funds, due to their appreciation of the cause Peterson was raising money for.

Windom revealed, “Because of this particular cause and our board’s personal connection to this cause, we thought this could be a good case where we could help with that.”


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