Texas DA investigates mayor for violating coronavirus stay-at-home order to go to nail salon

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A Texas mayor is under investigation for visiting a nail salon that was forced to close under the state’s April 2 coronavirus lockdown order.

The Nail Bar in Beaumont was subject to the order issued to contain the spread of the virus but was open Tuesday for the city's mayor, Becky Ames, according to reports.

The visit is under investigation by Jefferson County District Attorney Bob Wortham, KBMT-TV reported Friday.

“We are reviewing to determine if there was a violation," Wortham told the station.

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The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is investigating the Nail Bar.

A photo appearing to show the Republican mayor in a mask getting a manicure sparked complaints after it was posted on social media, the station reported.

Ames denied that her trip to the Nail Bar violated the state’s stay-at-home order, which shuttered non-essential businesses, the Beaumont Enterprise reported the next day.

Beaumont, Texas, mayor Becky Ames

Beaumont, Texas, mayor Becky Ames (City of Beaumont)

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“I did not do anything wrong,” she told the paper. “I would not be upset with anyone who I found out did this.”

Ames said she had powdered nails removed at the salon and was not there for a manicure, according to the paper. The fake nails were causing her pain, she said.

On Thursday, the mayor issued a statement apologizing for visiting the salon, calling it a “lapse in judgment,” Fox 4 Beaumont reported.

“I should never have entered the salon last Tuesday,” Ames said. “I did not intend to take personal privilege while asking others to sacrifice, and for that, I am truly remorseful. As an elected official I am held to a higher standard.”

Violations of the state stay-at-home order are punishable by a fine of up to $2,000.

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Ames has been mayor of Beaumont since 2007.