A hairdresser in Cadillac, Michigan, broke Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) lockdown order on Tuesday as state health officials moved to shut down a barber operating across the state.
Tina Godfrey, owner of Abbie’s First Cut, opened her doors for the first time in nearly two months after the extent of Whitmer’s lockdown order put Godfrey at risk of losing her business. The hairdresser abided by the lockdown order as long as she could, working part-time at a local supermarket to pay bills, according to Up North Live.
“If I stay closed my little business is going to be gone, and everything I’ve worked for over the last 30 years is gone,” Godfrey said on Thursday. “As of today, I get to go pay my landlord rent, I didn’t have rent money for him.”
Cadillac residents have lined up for haircuts and to express their support for Godfrey and frustration at the governor for extending the state lockdown order until at least May 28.
Wexford County prosecutor Jason Elmore, who oversees Cadillac, warned business owners that violating the shutdown order risked them becoming targets of state Attorney General Dana Nessel. He advised any business owner following Godfrey’s lead to hire an attorney first.
“People are also risking losing their licenses, health department arrests, prosecution from Michigan State Police and The Attorney General,” Elmore said. “All of those have nothing to do with local law enforcement. I encourage any business, group, or person to talk to their own attorney and also talk with their insurance agents.”
After easing restrictions on gardening, boating, and travel between residences last month, Whitmer has stood by her executive orders.
“What we need to do is continue what we have done. It’s working,” Whitmer said in a press conference on May 11. “And for people that want to voice their frustration, that’s fine, but I expect people to follow the law. These executive orders are not a suggestion. They’re not optional. They’re not helpful hints.”
State health officials revoked the professional license of Karl Manke, a 77-year-old barber in Owosso, and finally forced him to shut down on Thursday. Manke closed his shop after being served papers by the state of Michigan.
“I feel she’s breaking the law, I feel she’s entered into a police state type of situation now,” Manke told WNEM. “Getting me and taking my license without due process, just pulling my license is a police state tactic.”
Manke had reopened “Manke’s Beauty & Barber Shop” on May 4, citing the same reasons as Godfrey, that he could no longer afford to stay closed. State officials pressured Manke to shut down immediately but Manke, with some assistance from local officials, resisted the state and continued to serve his customers, some of which drove over 100 miles to see him.
Manke received two citations before Attorney General Nessel applied for a temporary restraining order. Shiawassee County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart denied her request.
Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian BeGole oversees the town of Owosso where Manke’s shop is located. He told state authorities on Monday that he would no longer enforce the shutdown order in his jurisdiction.
“I have decided, within my authority, that our office cannot and will not divert our primary resources and efforts towards enforcement of the Gov. Whitmer’s executive orders,” BeGole wrote in a letter Monday.
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