Tesla reportedly ignored a stern letter ordering it to cease operations

  • An Alameda County official sent Tesla a letter Monday ordering it to stop operations as workers returned to the factory, according to the SF Chronicle.
  • As of Tuesday, no further action had been taken against Tesla as it defies the local rules.
  • President Trump waded into the fight on Tuesday also, agreeing with Elon Musk that the company should be allowed to resume production.
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Tesla defied direct orders sent in a letter to one of its top safety employees Monday as it reopened its shuttered car factory.

The San Francisco Chronicle first reported on the letter's existence Tuesday, which came from Colleen Chawla, the director of Alameda County's health care services, and was sent to Laurie Shelby, Tesla's vice president of environmental, health, and safety.

"You must maintain no more than Minimum Basic Operations," she told Tesla as employees returned to work, according to the Chronicle.

It's the latest escalation of a fight between Tesla, its ostentatious chief executive Elon Musk, and local authorities that have forced all but essential businesses in the San Francisco-area suburb to remain closed. Musk has argued — with accelerating intensity over recent weeks — that his company should be considered essential.

President Trump even chimed in on the fight Tuesday morning, three days after a lawsuit was filed by Tesla against Alameda County, saying the company should be allowed to operate.

There hasn't yet been any use of force by officials to keep Tesla from operating, but Elon Musk said Monday that he's willing to risk arrest in order to make a point.

The Alameda sheriff's office said Monday that it was aware of Tesla's operations beyond the minimum basics and that it was working with the company to establish a plan for re-opening.

"We hope that Tesla will likewise comply without further enforcement measures," it said.

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