California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been accused of being out of touch with constituents during the pandemic — but one of his closest business confidantes has skipped out of the state altogether.
Shyla Hendrickson — who has controlled Newsom’s wine-and-hotel company PlumpJack Group through a blind trust since Newsom took office in 2018 — spent most of the pandemic in Park City, Utah, where COVID restrictions were far more lax than in California, sources told The Post.
While Golden State residents chafed over lockdowns that mandated remote learning in schools until April, Hendrickson’s kids were not only heading to classrooms since last August but playing on the volleyball team, whose in-person tryouts were last July, according to social media posts and a team schedule. In California, indoor youth sports were banned until this March.
Meanwhile, Hendrickson’s NFL agent husband Doug — with whom she has been hunkered down inside a $3 million mansion near the posh mountain resort that’s home to the Sundance Film Festival — has apparently been taking advantage of Utah’s looser rules for restaurants. The state reopened indoor dining in May 2020 versus this March for California — five months after Newsom was busted at a maskless dinner party in November.
In February, Doug Hendrickson sparred with Andrew Gruel, a California restauranteur and Food Network personality who criticized Newsom’s indoor dining restrictions as a “slap in the face to every restaurant worker” and called on the governor to resign.
In a since-deleted tweet to Gruel, Hendrickson wrote, “just was at your park city spot- worry about that service and menu first- horrible!”
Reached by The Post earlier this month, Hendrickson — whose Twitter account, like his wife’s, indicates his location is in San Francisco — denied that he moved his family to Utah.
“No, no, no — I’m not living in Utah,” Doug Hendrickson insisted in a phone call. “We’ve been out here for a few months on a sabbatical, but we’re full time California residents.”
In a follow-up text, Hendrickson described living in Utah as a “trip we had dreamed about for years” and added that “California is our home and it is where we live full-time and will be returning to in a few weeks.”
Indeed, less than two weeks after being contacted by The Post for comment, the Hendricksons packed up and moved out of Park City this past weekend, a source told The Post.
Reached on the phone earlier this month, Shyla Hendrickson said she was about to board a five-and-a-half hour plane ride to an unspecified destination.
“I will circle up with Gavin’s communications — the governor’s communications director and somebody will get back to you,” she said.
Brian Brokaw, a political advisor to Newsom, told The Post he would have someone from the governor’s office provide comment, but didn’t follow up. Reps for PlumpJack also didn’t comment.