Alton Mayor Red-Faced After Wife Violates Stay-At-Home Order
The mayor told Alton's police chief to crack down on those who aren't following the orders to stay home...then came the phone call.
Brant Walker, Mayor of Alton, got a big surprise early Sunday morning when he was contacted by the Police Chief, who informed him that police officers were busting an illegal gathering at Hiram’s Tavern, a downtown Alton establishment, and that Walker’s wife was among the attendees.
Alton police confirmed to CNN 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.
Here's part of what Mayor Walker had to say about the incident in a statement:
On Friday, due to the continued increase in cases of COVID-19 in Madison County, as well as increased reports of large gatherings, particularly in some of our city parks, I directed the Alton Police Department to more strictly enforce the Governor's statewide "Stay At Home" order through the use of citations.
The Governor's order states that "All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for limited purposes permitted by this Executive Order."
Walking and other exercise, as well as travel for essential needs, are permitted by the order as long as citizens adhere to CDC guidelines on social distancing.
At approximately 1am on Sunday morning, I was informed by the Police Chief that the Alton Police Department was investigating and stopping a social gathering in downtown Alton that was occurring in violation of the provisions of the statewide "Stay At Home" order.
I was also made aware that my wife was in attendance at this 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.
My wife is an adult capable of making her own decisions, and in this instance, she exhibited a stunning lack of judgement. She now faces the same consequences for her ill-advised decision as the other individuals who chose to violate the "Stay At Home" order during this incident.
I am embarrassed by this incident and apologize to the citizens of Alton for any embarrassment this incident may cause our City.
Not to be overly snarky here, but if the mayor was unaware that his wife was out at a bar at 1:00 on a Sunday morning during a time when nearly everything is supposed to be shut down, it's probably more embarrassing for him than for the city of Alton.