The state of Michigan has suspended the business license of the Owosso barber who was operating his shop in defiance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
Karl Manke originally reopened his barbershop, Karl Manke Main St. Barber & Beauty Shop, on May 4 and said he wore a mask, washed his hands between cuts, and sanitized his tools.
The license for the shop has been suspended and the related document sent to the barber and his attorney, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs confirmed to The Detroit News. A copy of the suspension obtained by the outlet said the opening of the Owosso barbershop required “emergency action” to protect “the public health, safety or welfare.”
Manke’s attorney David Kallman said he also faces “$1,000 and 1 year in jail per haircut” under an order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, according to The Detroit News.
Shiawassee County Circuit Court denied a request from Attorney General Dana Nessel on Monday to issue a temporary restraining order that would close the shop while the state tried to close it permanently.
Kallman said the license suspension is unprecedented, adding that the executive order Manke broke comes without backing after Michigan lawmakers did not extend the state of emergency.
“I’ve never seen it used this way, ever,” Kallman told MLive. “It’s usually saved for situations if you have doctors doing bogus cancer treatments or you have a sex offender living at a daycare center. We don’t have that here.”
Both Manke and the state are expected to meet soon for a hearing in front of Shiawassee County Circuit Judge Matthew Stewart about the Department of Health and Human Services order for Manke to cease and desist his operation.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]