A small city Mayor from Illinois, who asked the police to arrest people defying the 'stay at home' rule has been left embarrassed by his wife who was caught while breaking up a social gathering in a bar. The Mayor of Alton issued the warnings to people on Friday, April 3, and asked everyone to stay inside and not gather in public places for their own safety.
Mayor Brant Walker told during his briefing that: "These are very serious times and I'm begging you to please stay at home ... I have directed the police department to use their discretion in issuing citations or making arrests for those refusing to follow the state-issued stay-at-home mandate."
The mayor's wife was caught in under 48 hours of the briefing in a bar in the city. The mayor admitted in a statement that his wife Shanon was caught in the illicit gathering near a watering hole at 1 AM on Sunday, April 5, in the Hiram's Tavern in downtown Alston.
The police had previously received complaints about the tavern working during the weekends despite strict measures being imposed in the city. In Illinois, it is prohibited to have public and private gatherings of any number of people outside a single household or living unit.
Criminal complaints against the people defying the rule
Walker apologised to the city and said that his wife would be treated the same way the others defying the rule would be treated. He said that he was embarrassed by his wife and that she had shown a "stunning lack of judgment." He also said that he has instructed the police department not to show any special treatment. Criminal complaints were issued against the people who were caught in the tavern. They will be summoned to the court under a Class A misdemeanour charge carrying up to 364 days in jail and a fine of $,2500.
The Mayor said that he was made aware of the incident soon after it had occurred and on Monday, April 6, he detailed in a Facebook post. The city has around 28,000 in population. The mayor also apologised to the people for causing any sort of embarrassment due to the incident.
This is the first complaint lodged in the state after Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the rule on March 20. The bar owner, Hiram Y Lewis also faces additional charges. He has been sent to the Alton prison for charges of domestic battery apart from opening the business during the lockdown.