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On Tuesday, Twitter user Gregory Rice uploaded a photo of what appeared to be Beaumont, Texas, Mayor Becky Ames inside a nail salon.
The woman in the photo is wearing a mask, and soaking her hands in a bowl.
@GregAbbott_TX are you aware that Beaumont, TX Mayor Becky Ames violated your order about nail salons today when the Nail Bar in Beaumont opened to allow her to “buy product”? Last time I checked, you didn’t have to soak your nails to buy something. Open us up!!!! pic.twitter.com/9GFt6Oosn2
— Gregory Rice (@LetsGoStros2019) April 22, 2020
After the tweet went up, Mayor Ames issued a public apology in writing:
My heartfelt apology to all of the citizens of Beaumont for my lapse in judgment on Tuesday, April 21st. I promise that there was no malice intended. I should never have entered the salon last Tuesday. 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, I regret my action that day. I am honestly sorry, and I pray that you will forgive me. In addition, I have asked the city attorney to place me on executive session this Tuesday so I can discuss this issue with my fellow Councilmembers.
Despite the apology, the photo might not be all that it seems.
Ames allegedly went to the “nail salon after talking to the owner about how to remove an old manicure set,” reports 12News. “She needed acetone, and the salon owner said she would leave some out for her.”
The salon owner reportedly left the acetone in a bowl.
The mayor was in and out in approximately ten minutes, she claims, with the owner being the only other person there. The salon “owner told 12News that surveillance video backs up the mayor’s story,” the outlet reports.
They mayor sent photos to 12News of her nails to show that she didn’t have them done while at the salon.
According to the Beaumont, Texas, stay-at-home order issued on March 27:
All persons may leave their residences only to perform certain essential activities, to perform work in order to obtain services from an essential business, central government service, or in critical infrastructure, or to engage in essential travel or minimum basic operations all as defined in section 6 below…
All businesses or operations with a facility in the city of Beaumont, except essential businesses and essential government functions as defined in section 6 below, are required to cease all activities at facilities located within the city…
Nail salons aren’t on the list of essential businesses.
As for violations of the order, the text reads in part: “A violation of this order may be punishable through criminal or civil enforcement. A violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 and/or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days.”