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State representative visits Owosso barber for haircut

(WJRT)
Published: May. 14, 2020 at 4:31 PM EDT
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(5/14/2020) - A Republican state representative joined the crowd of people getting a haircut at Owosso barber Karl Manke's shop on Thursday.

Matt Maddock of Milford got a haircut from Manke, who is open in violation of Michigan's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs suspended the 77-year-old's professional license on Wednesday.

"I'm anxious to get my haircut. I may have to wait in line. There are probably 10 or 12 people ahead of me," Maddock said.

He made the nearly 45-minute trip from his district in Oakland County to get a trim and support Manke. As he entered the barbershop without a mask, Maddock made it clear he was going against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive order.

"I think we need to stop making this about politics, because jobs are not about politics," Maddock said. "I think the governor needs to be not concerned about one barber in Owosso, Michigan, and I think Dana Nessel, our attorney general, needs to do the same thing."

Maddock continued by saying the government is trying to make an example out of Manke. The barber has been defying the governor's order for more than a week after opening on May 4.

Manke says he will continue to stay open until the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs serves his license suspension in person.

"I haven't heard anything about his license being suspended except through the media. I haven't received anything from the state saying that my license has been suspended. So as far as I'm concerned I'm still working," said Manke.

Dave Kallman, Manke's attorney, told ABC12 over the phone that he received an email from the state regulators saying that Manke's license has been suspended. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs confirmed that information on Wednesday.

But since he does not officially represent Manke, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will have to serve the 77-year-old's license suspension in person for it to take effect.

"I'll stand my ground. Ultimately it's going to be up to me," Manke said. "I'll walk out of this barbershop one way or another sooner or later. I'll walk out in handcuff or if Jesus comes and it isn't going to be a minute before."

Manke said he would have no choice but to shut down and confer with his team to decide his next move if he was served his suspension in person. He could face a $1,000 fine and one year in jail per haircut for working without a professional license.