Last week an Illinois mayor called out his own constituents for ignoring a 'stay-at-home' order issued by the governor, which was/is intended to greatly limit the spread of COVID-19. That order prohibits public/private get-togethers "of any number of people outside a single household or living unit."
Brant Walker, the mayor of Alton (which lies across the Mississippi River, and about 15 miles, from St. Louis) issued the rebuke during a Friday briefing. "These are very serious times and I’m begging you to please stay at home," he said. "And parents, please keep your kids at home — doing so is vital to our health."
To show he wasn't playing around, Walker also revealed that he'd told the local police to step up enforcement by giving out citations and arrests to those who paid no heed to that order.
"We will do whatever it takes to decrease the spread of this deadly virus," he added, according to Buzzfeed News.
Just a day later, the police did what they were told by busting up a gathering of several people at a local bar. One of the people at that establishment was none other than the mayor's own wife, Shannon Walker.
There's a good look.
On Monday, the mayor issued an apology to residents, saying that his wife displayed a "stunning lack of judgment," and that he was "embarrassed" by the whole thing.
Brant was made aware of what happened when he was contacted by the chief of police at 1 a.m. on Sunday. You, like me, might think that the mayor would be aware that she's not home at 1 a.m. in a town (population around 26,500) that we can assume doesn't have the craziest nightlife, but *shrugs* whatever.
He further relayed that cops told him his wife was at the "prohibited social gathering." He said that he told the Police Chief to give her no special treatment, and that he said to treat her like anybody else violating the order.
"My wife is an adult capable of making her own decisions, and in this instance she exhibited a stunning lack of judgement," the mayor said. "I am embarrassed by this incident and apologize to the citizens of Alton for any embarrassment this incident may cause our City."
For everyone at the bar on the night, cops gave out a criminal complaint for reckless conduct. Those people will go to court later and face punishments of up to 364 days in a jail, a fine of $2,500, or both, for the Class A misdemeanor.