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Another lawmaker violates shutdown: Mayor tries to explain her nail salon visit, gives up and confesses

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A Texas mayor is beating a hasty retreat after she was busted visiting a nail salon that should have been closed because of a stay-at-home order she issued amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames issued a written apology two days after a photograph turned up showing her receiving service at a nail shop.

The photo is seen here:

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order closing all non-essential businesses in Texas, which includes nail salons. Jefferson County, which is where the nail salon is located, issued a similar order.

The mayor was initially defiant, insisting that she did nothing wrong.

More from ABC affiliate KBMT:

Mayor Ames told 12News earlier this week she did go to the nail salon after talking to the owner about how to remove an old manicure set. She needed acetone, and the salon owner said she would leave some out for her.

Instead, the owner had the solution set up in a bowl inside. The mayor says she was in and out in 10 minutes, and the owner was the only person in the salon. The back door was open and the salon was dark.

 

Ames stressed that she did not get her nails re-done while at the business, as if that makes a difference.

But after the backlash, she had a change of heart, issuing an official apology.

“I promise there was no malice intended,” she wrote in a statement. “I should never have entered the salon last Tuesday. I did not intend to take personal privilege while asking others to sacrifice and for that I am truly remorseful.”

Press Release from Mayor Becky Ames, April 23rd, 2020.

Posted by City of Beaumont – Government on Thursday, April 23, 2020

 

“As an elected official I am held to a higher standard, I regret my action that day,” the release added. “I am honestly sorry and I pray that you will forgive me. In addition, I have asked the city attorney to place me on executive session this Tuesday so I can discuss this issue with my fellow Councilmembers.”

An “executive session” is reportedly not open to the public.

The apology comes one day after the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation responded to a number of complaints about Ames’ visit and launched an investigation.

“We are reviewing to determine if there was a violation,” Jefferson County District Attorney Bob Wortham told KBMT.

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation spokesperson Tela Mange said if it is determined that a violation occurred, the agency’s prosecutor takes up the issue and a fine of up to $1,000 could be imposed.

The story comes as defiant salon owners across America are desperate to reopen their businesses amid the coronavirus shutdown, risking fines and even jail time, including a salon in Texas.

Tom Tillison

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