A salon owner was jailed Tuesday after she refused to temporarily close her business during stay-at-home orders, actions that a judge said were “selfish” amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
“The society cannot function when one’s own belief in a concept of liberty permits you to flaunt your disdain for the rulings of duly elected officials,” Judge Eric Moyé said in a court hearing that was broadcast on YouTube.
Shelley Luther, owner of Salon à la Mode, reopened her salon in Dallas on April 24, about a month after the county issued stay-at-home orders that shut down nonessential businesses. When she received a cease-and-desist order to close her salon, Luther tore up the letter during a protest where demonstrators were urging Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to reopen businesses across the state.
During the court hearing Tuesday, Moyé told Luther she had the “keys” to the county jail and could avoid a sentence that included incarceration.
“You may utilize them now if you would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge that your actions were selfish, putting your interests ahead of those of the community in which you live,” he said. “This court will consider the payment of a fine in lieu of the incarceration, which you have demonstrated you have so clearly earned.”