Alton, Illinois Mayor Brant Walker is taking the governor’s statewide “Stay at Home” order seriously. He’s even boarded up basketball hoops where kids gather in an effort to prevent young citizens in Alton, IL from gathering during the coronavirus threat.
From his Facebook page: “What I said yesterday was there are a lot of kids moving around, primarily at basketball courts. Parents, keep your kids at home during the stay-at-home order. I have instructed police to discretely write citations. Ninety-five percent of people and businesses in Alton are abiding by the stay-at-home order and have been fantastic. We have boarded up some of the hoops to try to prevent kids from gathering.”
There is someone very close to the mayor, however, who doesn’t appear to be taking the “Stay at Home” order seriously. Shannon Walker, the wife of the Alton mayor must’ve somehow missed his memo that ordered police to give citations to anyone who disobeys the social distancing order.
On Sunday, Mayor Walker sent Madison County police to break up a large gathering at Hiram’s Tavern, a local Alton bar.
The Daily Mail reports – On Monday, Alton Mayor Brant Walker on Monday issued a statement on his Facebook page to apologize to the Alton community after it was discovered that his wife Shannon was one of the people caught partying in the bar in violation of the state’s “Stay At Home” order.
The incident began unfolding about 1 am on Sunday when police contacted Mayor Walker to inform him that they were in the process of breaking up a party at Hiram’s Tavern in downtown Alton. They said it had continued operating on the weekends in violation of Governor JB Pritzker’s March 20 executive order prohibiting all social gatherings to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
As of Tuesday morning, there were 12,626 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 52 in Madison County where Alton – a town of 26,000 on the Mississippi River – is located, and 307 deaths statewide.
Police officers busted the illegal party and cited everyone in attendance – including the first lady of Alton – for reckless conduct, a misdemeanor punishable by up to nearly a year jail. They are due in court at a later date.
‘My wife is an adult capable of making her own decisions, and in this instance, she exhibited a stunning lack of judgement,’ Mayor Walker stated. ‘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.’
‘I am embarrassed by this incident and apologize to the citizens of Alton for any embarrassment this incident may cause our City,’ the mayor added in his post.
Hiram Lewis, the owner of the rogue drinking establishment, was found to have an active warrant for his arrest out for domestic battery and was hauled off to the city jail, reported the Alton Telegraph.
The town’s mayor reminded his constituents that there is a deadly pandemic raging in the world and that his ‘first and most important priority is the safety and well-being of the citizens.’
Walker, a small businessman and investor, first took office in 2013 after running as a write-in candidate and was re-elected in 2017.
He and Shannon have a teenage daughter together.
Alton – Today, Mayor Brant Walker issued the following statement concerning a social gathering that occurred on Sunday in violation of the Governor’s statewide “Stay At Home” order:
On Friday, due to the continued increase in cases of COVID-19 in Madison County, as well as increased reports of large gatherings, particularly in some of our city parks, I directed the Alton Police Department to more strictly enforce the Governor’s statewide “Stay At Home” order through the use of citations.
The Governor’s order states that “All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for limited purposes permitted by this Executive Order.”
Walking and other exercise, as well as travel for essential needs, are permitted by the order as long as citizens adhere to CDC guidelines on social distancing.
At approximately 1am on Sunday morning, I was informed by the Police Chief that the Alton Police Department was investigating and stopping a social gathering in downtown Alton that was occurring in violation of the provisions of the statewide “Stay At Home” order.
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.
My wife is an adult capable of making her own decisions, and in this instance, she 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.
I am embarrassed by this incident and apologize to the citizens of Alton for any embarrassment this incident may cause our City.
My first and most important priority is the safety and well-being of the citizens of Alton. We are in the midst of a national public health crisis, and I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure that your health is protected, including enforcing the Governor’s statewide “Stay At Home” order.
The overwhelming majority of our citizens and businesses are observing the restrictions of the “Stay At Home” order, and for that I am truly grateful. We must all do our part to flatten the curve of COVID-19 so that we can protect our health and ultimately resume our normal activities.
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.
I have never been more optimistic about Alton’s future, and by working together to flatten the curve of COVID-19, we will emerge from this public health crisis stronger and more vibrant than ever.
Last week, the mayor recorded a message to Alton citizens, warning them of the importance of the “Stay at Home” order.
It’s hard to imagine that the mayor didn’t know the whereabouts of his wife during a statewide lockdown. Most people who are quarantined at home are fairly aware of their family member’s whereabouts.