Illinois mayor 'embarrassed' to find wife was at social gathering broken up by police

Illinois mayor 'embarrassed' to find wife was at social gathering broken up by police
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Brant Walker, the mayor of Alton, Ill., said he is “embarrassed” after his wife was found at a social gathering at a local bar over the weekend that was broken up by police for violating a stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

In a Facebook post detailing the incident Monday, Walker said he was informed of the incident at Hiram's Tavern “at approximately 1 a.m. on Sunday morning.”

“I was also made aware that my wife was in attendance at this prohibited social gathering. I instructed the Police Chief to treat her as he would any citizen violating the ‘Stay At Home’ order and to ensure that she received no special treatment,” he continued.

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The Sunday incident also came two days after Walker again urged local residents to “stay at home” to stem the spread of the disease.

"These are very serious times and I’m begging you to please stay at home and parents, please keep your kids at home, doing so is vital to our health," he said at a press briefing on Friday.

In a statement Monday, Walker said he was “embarrassed by this incident” and apologized “to the citizens of Alton for any embarrassment” the incident may have caused the city, which the United States Census Bureau estimated had a population of fewer than 28,000 people in 2017.

“Furthermore, I encourage everyone to join me in thanking the members of our Police and Fire Departments who continue to work every day to protect us during this public health crisis,” he added.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced about a week ago that he would be extending the stay-at-home order, first issued from late March to mid-April, through the end of the month.

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"I have directed the police department to use their discretion in issuing citations or making arrests to those refusing to follow the state issued stay at home mandate. We will do whatever it takes to decrease the spread of this deadly virus," he added.

Walker further wrote in his statement that his wife is an adult who can make her own decisions and exhibited a "stunning lack of judgement." 

“She now faces the same consequences for her ill-advised decision as the other individuals who chose to violate the ‘Stay At Home’ order during this incident,” Walker said.  

The Alton Police Department told CNN that it issued criminal complaints for reckless conduct to all who were in attendance at Hiram's Tavern during the incident late Sunday. According to the network, violators can face a fine of up to $2,500 or jail time for the charge.