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Alton's mayor told police to crack down on 'stay-at-home' violators. They cited his wife at a bar.

Alton's mayor told police to crack down on 'stay-at-home' violators. They cited his wife at a bar.

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Alton City Hall

Alton City Hall

ALTON — The mayor told his police department to crack down on anyone violating the Illinois “stay-at-home” order.

The police did just that — and cited the mayor’s wife at a downtown tavern.

Alton Mayor Brant Walker revealed in a Monday Facebook post that one of several people cited at a downtown bar early Sunday was his wife, Shannon Walker.

Walker said the Alton police chief contacted him about 1 a.m. Sunday to say they were investigating and stopping a gathering at a bar downtown that was in violation of Illinois’ stay-at-home order.

“I was also made aware that my wife was in attendance at this prohibited social gathering,” Walker wrote. “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.”

Alton police said they had received several complaints that Hiram’s Tavern, 219 West 3rd Street, was continuing to operate. The police said a complaint for “reckless conduct,” a class A misdemeanor, was signed against every person at the bar, and each will be summoned to court. The department did not release the number of citations it issued or the names of those cited.

A reporter’s request for comment from Shannon Walker was answered with a statement that the mayor had no further comment on the matter.

The bar’s owner, Hiram Y. Lewis, was found to have a warrant for his arrest out of Madison County for domestic battery and was taken into custody, the police said. He could not be reached for comment.

Walker wrote: “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.”

Walker said he was “embarrassed” by the incident and apologized to Alton residents.

“My first and most important priority is the safety and well-being of the citizens of Alton,” he wrote. “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,” he said.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included a headline that incorrectly reported people taken into custody.


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