3/31/21 – Owosso barber fined $9,000 for haircuts at Michigan Capitol, other violations

SHIAWASSEE COUNTY, MI –(Mlive) –  The Owosso barber who became a figurehead for those opposed to executive orders issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer nearly a year ago, is facing a $9,000 fine for giving unlicensed hair cuts on the steps of the state’s Capitol and sanitation and equipment violations.

Individual fines of $4,500 were ordered against both Karl W. Manke, 77, and his barbershop, Karl Manke Main St. Barber & Beauty Shop — totaling $9,000 — to be paid to the state of Michigan within 90 days following a Michigan Board of Barber Examiners’ Monday, March 29 review, according to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, or LARA.

The order states it is effective 30 days from the date it was signed.

Manke’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Michigan Board of Barber Examiners voted to assess both Manke and his barbershop $500 fines for three sanitation and equipment violations and $3,000 for unlicensed hair cutting at the Michigan Capitol, Matthew Erickson, Public Information Officer for LARA, said in an email to MLive-The Flint Journal.

Manke reopened for customers on May 4, 2020 in defiance of an executive order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that closed barber shops, salons and other “non-essential” businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19.

After Manke’s license was suspended due to the barber’s violation of the order, he “engaged in barbering on the front steps of the Michigan State Capitol, which is not a licensed premises.

“He also admitted to operating his barbershop and cutting hair after being served with the summary suspension order,” according to a complaint by the Department of Attorney General Licensing and Regulation Division on behalf of LARA.

The complaint states Manke continued his practice without a license or registration, committed gross negligence, operated in an unsanitary manner, operated in an unlicensed premises and failed to maintain a premises in accordance with sanitation requirements. It also states he failed to comply with the requirements for tools and equipment.

In October, two misdemeanor criminal violations against Manke for violating Whitmer’s executive orders were dropped by the Shiawassee County prosecutor. The decision came after the state’s high court ruled in October that the governor does not have the authority under state law to continue a state of emergency without the support of the legislature.

The Michigan Board of Barber Examiners was created under Article 11 of Public Act 299 of 1980, to regulate the services of barbers, barber students, barber colleges, barber instructors, student instructors and barbershops in Michigan, according to LARA.