Health officials investigating 'first responder' party at Hollywood bar

Public Health officials in Los Angeles County said Monday that they were investigating a party reportedly thrown for "first responders" at a bar in Hollywood over the weekend.

County Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, said her office and state Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control would be investigating the incident.

According to various social media posts, the "mask-optional" party took place Friday at the Sassafras Saloon, 1233 Vine St., an 80-year-old Southern-themed bar with live music played from a second-floor balcony.

“We had inspectors out there the very next day. As many of you know, that place is shuttered and closed for business. The owners have said they only opened for that private party,” Ferrer said. “There is really zero tolerance for having indoor parties at your business places.”

The Los Angeles Police Department also said it was investigating the incident.

"The department is aware of video posted on social media that captured an event that does not appear to be following public health guidelines," the LAPD said in a statement. "We are trying to identify LAPD employees, who may have been in attendance.

Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.

"The chief of police has made his expectations clear and department notices have been distributed, that every employee shall wear a face covering and practice social distancing when possible at work and in the field.''
The website KnockLA posted a video that allegedly showed people arriving for "the LASD party" and being asked if they had a temperature before they were admitted.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department denied that people shown in the video were department employees and that the department hosted the event.

On Monday, the sheriff's department said the reports are "categorically false and appear to be a hoax perpetrated by social activists."

Bars have been closed by order of Gov. Gavin Newsom since late June as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

CNS contributed to this report.