Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton have each released statements calling for the immediate release of Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who had the audacity to open her business. In the statement, Paxton heavily criticizes the judge, Obama devotee Eric Moye, who sentenced Luther to seven days in jail and ordered her to pay thousands in fines.
Paxton said he believes the judge is abusing his authority and that her arrest seems like a “political stunt.” In a full statement, Paxton said:
“I find it outrageous and out of touch that during this national pandemic, a judge, in a county that actually released hardened criminals for fear of contracting COVID-19, would jail a mother for operating her hair salon in an attempt to put food on her family’s table,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The trial judge did not need to lock up Shelley Luther. His order is a shameful abuse of judicial discretion, which seems like another political stunt in Dallas. He should release Ms. Luther immediately.”
The attorney general sent a letter to Moye, saying her sentencing was “significantly overbroad.” He mentioned that Abbott’s new executive order will allow her to operate business starting on Friday.
Paxton said jailing Luther for seven days, which overlaps with her being able to operate her business, is “unjustifiable.”
Abbott also released a statement, saying he agrees with Paxton in asking for her release.
“I join the Attorney General in disagreeing with the excessive action by the Dallas Judge, putting Shelley Luther in jail for seven days. As I have made clear through prior pronouncements, jailing Texans for non-compliance with executive orders should always be the last available option. Compliance with executive orders during this pandemic is important to ensure public safety; however, surely there are less restrictive means to achieving that goal than jailing a Texas mother.”
Luther received a cease-and-desist letter last week from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins to close her salon, but she publicly ripped it up.
Luther and her salon were also fined $500 for each day it was open, which was seven in total as of Tuesday. Moye said her salon would continue to be fined every day it was open until the new order would allow it to reopen on Friday.
I find it outrageous that during this national pandemic, a judge, in a county that actually released hardened criminals for fear of contracting #COVID19, would jail a mother for operating her hair salon in an attempt to put food on her family’s table.https://t.co/UXOn47uYG4
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) May 6, 2020