Business manager

California government’s business manager escaped its strict COVID rules by moving to Utah

California Governor Gavin Newsom has been accused of being out of touch with his constituents during the pandemic – but one of his closest business confidants has left the state altogether.

Shyla Hendrickson — who has control Newsom’s winery and hotel company, PlumpJack Group, through blind trust since Newsom took office in 2018 — has spent most of the pandemic in Park City, Utah, where COVID restrictions were much more lax than in California, sources told the Post.

As Golden State residents chafed over closures that forced remote learning in schools through April, Hendrickson’s kids have not only been heading to classrooms since last August, but playing on the team. volleyball, whose in-person tryouts took place last July, according to social media posts and a team schedule. In California, indoor sports for young people were banned until March.

Shyla and Doug Hendrickson left California for Utah.
Drew Altizer/

Meanwhile, Hendrickson’s husband, NFL agent Doug – with whom she was locked up in a $3million mansion near the posh mountain resort that’s home to the Sundance Film Festival – apparently took advantage of the rules more Utah Softs for Restaurants. The state reopened indoor dining in May 2020 compared to March for California – five months after Newsom was arrested while dining without a mask in November.

In February, Doug Hendrickson argued with Andrew Gruel, a California restaurateur and Food Network personality who criticized Newsom’s indoor dining restrictions as a “slap in the face to all restaurant workers” and called out the governor to resign.

In one tweet since deleted to Gruel, Hendrickson wrote, “I was right in your place in the park – mind that service and menu first – awful!”

Reached by The Post earlier this month, Hendrickson – whose Twitter account, like his wife’s, says he is in San Francisco – denied moving his family to Utah.

“No, no, no – I don’t live in Utah,” Doug Hendrickson insisted in a phone call. “We’ve been here a few months on a sabbatical, but we’re full-time California residents.”

In a follow-up text, Hendrickson described life in Utah as a “trip we’ve dreamed of for years” and added that “California is our home and it’s where we live full time and where we will be back in a few weeks.”

Indeed, less than two weeks after being contacted by The Post for a comment, the Hendricksons packed up and left Park City last weekend, a source told The Post.

Reached by phone earlier this month, Shyla Hendrickson said she was about to board a five-and-a-half-hour plane to an unspecified destination.

“I’ll go around Gavin’s communications — the governor’s director of communications and someone will get back to you,” she said.

Brian Brokaw, a political adviser to Newsom, told the Post he would ask someone in the governor’s office to comment, but did not follow up. Representatives for PlumpJack also did not comment.