Illinois Mayor 'Embarrassed' After Wife Violates Stay-at-Home Order to Party at Illegally Open Bar

The mayor of an Illinois city hit out at his wife's "stunning lack of judgment" after she was busted by police attending a party at a bar in defiance of the state's stay at home order issued amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Alton Mayor Brant Walker said he is "embarrassed" by the incident, which occurred just days after he urged police to be more strict in implementing Governor J.B. Pritzker's statewide order by issuing citations.

Alton Police said they located several people inside the Hiram's Tavern at around 1 a.m. on Sunday, April 5. A criminal complaint for reckless conduct, a Class A misdemeanor, was signed against every person found inside the bar, including Walker' wife Shannon, reports The Telegraph.

The gathering took place in defiance of the order banning social gatherings and forcing the closure of all non-essential businesses, which came into effect on Saturday, March 21.

The bar was reportedly still operating as normal on weekends.

"My wife is an adult capable of making her own decisions, and in this instance she exhibited a stunning lack of judgment," Walker said in a statement.

"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."

Walker added: "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."

(File photo) A beer sign hangs in the window of a shuttered bar near the town square on April 06, 2020 in Woodstock, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty

During the bust, the bar's owner, Hiram Y. Lewis, was found to have an active warrant for his arrest out of Madison County for domestic battery. He was taken into custody by Alton Police and later transported to jail.

Alton Police Chief Jason Simmons urged all residents not to ignore the guidelines and orders put in place in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

"If members of our community will not protect each other, and will be so brazen as to gather in public places, we will be forced to take action like we did this weekend without hesitation," Simmons said.

"On the other side of this issue, if you are obeying Illinois laws while traveling for essential purposes, you will not be stopped."

There are more than 368,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with nearly 11,000 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University. A total of 19,919 people have managed to recover from the virus.

This graph, provided by Statista, shows the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of April 6.

Coronavirus COVID-19 United States Statista

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.