The mayor of Alton, Illinois, says he is “embarrassed” after his wife was cited for violating the state’s stay-at-home order by attending a party at a bar less than 48 hours after he warned citizens he had asked police to crack down on illegal social gatherings during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
What are the details?
On Friday, Mayor Brant Walker issued a plea to the residents of Alton to comply with the shelter-in-place order issued by Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) last month, and announced that he had given police the go-ahead to be more strict on enforcing the dictate.
“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,” Walker explained, adding, “I am begging you, please stay at home, and parents — please keep your kids at home. Doing so is vital to our health.”
Then, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, Walker’s wife, Shannon Walker, was busted partying in a downtown tavern when police moved in to shut down the gathering.
According to CNN, police confirmed “that officers issued a criminal complaint for reckless conduct — a class A misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of $2,500 — to everyone who had gathered at the bar.”
Mayor Walker addressed the issue in a statement on Monday, explaining that police contacted him at around 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning to make him aware that his wife was “in attendance” at the “prohibited social gathering.”
“I instructed the Police Chief to treat her as he would any citizen violating the ‘Stay at Home’ order and to ensure that she received no special treatment,” the mayor told his constituents.
“My wife is an adult capable of making her own decisions, and in this instance she exhibited a stunning lack of judgement,” Walker wrote. He added, “I am embarrassed by this incident and apologize to the citizens of Alton for any embarrassment this incident may cause our City.”