The owner of a Dallas salon has been sentenced to seven days in jail and fined thousands of dollars for openly defying state, county, and city government mandates by reopening her business and refusing to re-close amid the coronavirus shutdown.
What are the details?
Shelley Luther, who owns Salon a la Mode, reopened her business on April 30 in violation of Texas's statewide lockdown on businesses deemed nonessential during the COVID-19 crisis. She argued that she was behind on her mortgage along with several of the 19 stylists who work at her salon, and that the government did not have the right to prohibit citizens from working to provide for their families.
Luther was issued a citation from the City of Dallas, followed by a cease-and-desist letter and a restraining order from the county. Yet, she stood her ground and continued to operate.
On Tuesday, Dallas Civil District Judge Eric Moyé, who issued the restraining order, found Luther both criminally and civilly in violation of his order, according to WFAA-TV. She was also found to be in violation of Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) stay-at-home order.
Moyé sentenced Luther to seven days in jail and a $7,000 fine.
According to KTVT-TV, the judge told Luther he would consider not giving her jail time if she would agree to close until the governor's order was lifted and "if she admitted that she was wrong, that she was selfish, and that she should apologize to the elected officials whose orders she violated."
Luther told the judge:
I have much respect for this court and laws. I have never been in this position before and it's not someplace that I want to be. But I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I'm selfish — because feeding my kids is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they'd rather feed their kids. So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon.
Salon A La Mode Owner, Shelley Luther Arrested: 'Feeding My Kids Isn't Selfish, I'm Not Closing The www.youtube.com
A GoFundMe account has been set up to support Shelley Luther.
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Abbott announced that all Texas hair salons, nail salons, and tanning salons may reopen on Friday.