Michigan’s top legal adviser accused a small business owner of deliberately failing to exercise care through continuing to trade despite the deadly Asian virus.
State Attorney General Dana Nessel has decided to suspend Karl Manke’s administrative license because the 77-year-old Owosso barber defied an order from the governor to stay at home during the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus pandemic.
“The Attorney General’s office issued an administrative licensing complaint on Tuesday, alleging several violations of the Michigan occupational code and administrative rules, including gross negligence and willful violations of the health and safety rules of a political subdivision,” the office said in a statement.
The Michigan Bureau of Professional Licensing (BPL) found the business on West Main Street may have breached Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s strict lockdown order by increasing the risk of transmitting the CCP Virus.
“After consideration of the documentation filed in this case, including the affidavit of Sean Haskin, the department concludes that the public health, safety, or welfare requires emergency action, as allowed by section 505 of the occupational code and section 92 of the Administrative Procedures Act,” BPL Director Debra Gagliardi said in a statement. “Therefore, it is ordered that respondents’ barber and barbershop licenses in the state of Michigan shall be summarily suspended commencing on the date this order is served.”
The remarks came after Manke, who has operated his shop for almost 60 years, had waited for the governor to ease restrictions but to no avail. After staying closed more than six weeks, and learning the lockdown would last another 28 days, he reluctantly decided to open his doors once again.
“I had fear about this, I thought about it,” he said in a press conference video shared on YouTube. “I have always worked, I never looked for handouts, I never even know what they are … I had to get back to work, I feel that it is my right to work. I started this business when I was 18 years old and now I am going to be 78 in a few months, so I did not want to lose it.”
Manke said that in the past six decades he had never witnessed a legislature in the Great Lake State that was as oppressive as the current one.
“As an American citizen, as an adult, I have gone through 14 different administrations and I have never seen anything like this at all,” he said. “I have never seen this type of an oppression by a government, ever not even in the ’60s. This was the first time I had ever encountered anything like this … it knocked me to my knees.”
Manke’s struggle has inspired loved ones to invite donations to help the businessman pay the $1,000 fine and avoid 90 days in jail. The GoFundMe fundraiser has already attracted more than $40,860 out of the original target of $100,000.