‘I’m risking going to jail to do it. That’s how important it is to my family…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) An Oregon small-business owner who reopened her salon in defiance of Gov. Kate Brown’s shelter-in-place order said she was fined more than $14,000 and threatened by Child Protective Services.
Although a judge on Monday declared county judge has declared the governor’s coronavirus restrictions “null and void” because she didn’t have her emergency orders approved by the Legislature the damage was done already for Lindsey Graham, the owner of Glamour Salon in Salem.
Graham reopened her business with much fanfare earlier this month, even though she knew she would face consequences for doing so.
“I’m risking going to jail to do it. That’s how important it is to my family,” she said, according to KPTV-TV.
“I’m deciding that it’s more important for me to feed my family and pay the bills that are going to keep our home and our family alive than take the risk to remain being shut down for an undisclosed amount of time,” she said.
Sure enough, Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health division slapped Graham with a $14,000 fine. And last week, Graham said CPS showed up at her home and demanded to speak with her children.
“If you can possibly believe this, on May 7 Child Protective Services showed up at my home. They questioned my husband and I, they questioned my child without me present, they searched our home,” Graham said, KOIN-TV reported. “I’ve never expected such a violent, aggressive, vindictive thing could have ever been done to me or my family.”
Graham’s situation is similar to that of Shelley Luther, a salon owner in Dallas, Texas. Luther reopened her salon in spite of the state’s shelter-in-place order and ended up being sentenced to one week in prison. However, she was released after thousands of Americans launched an effort to support her.
That resulted in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and state Attorney General Ken Paxton intervening to secure her release.
But unlike Texas, where top Republican officials proved sympathetic to Luther’s cause and the only lasting effect was publicity, Graham risked even greater danger for running her business in a deep-blue state.
A spokeswoman for Oregon’s OSHA confirmed that they had fined Graham $14,000 and defended it as necessary, given “both the nature of the violation and [Graham’s] willful decision to violate the law.”
“She is unquestionably operating in violation of the governor’s executive order, designed to protect workers and the public,” the spokeswoman wrote in an email to CNN.
It was unclear whether the recent judge’s decision voiding Brown’s order might also apply retroactively in Graham’s case.
The decision by Baker County Circuit Court Judge Matt Shirtcliff applies to the entire state, according to the Baker City Herald, and goes into effect immediately.
Brown’s legal team said they plan to Shirtcliff’s decision and take it to the Oregon Supreme Court.