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Owosso barber ordered to pay $9,000 in fines

Legal Gavel & Closed Law Book by Visual Content is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

A state board has ordered Owosso barber Karl Manke to pay $9,000 for defying state COVID-19 orders, and for violating other public health rules.

The sanctions are for failing to sweep hair clippings off the floor at his barbershop, and for Karl Manke keeping a comb in his pocket. But also for taking part in a protest last May where barbers and stylists defied the state’s COVID-19 shutdown order. 

Attorney David Kallman says the health and sanitation violations are trivial -- and that his client had the right to protest at the Capitol.

“This is silliness, especially given Mister Manke’s 1st amendment rights, his constitutional rights being stomped on.”

Kallman says Manke won’t pay the fines and will challenge the board action in court.

Kallman says the lawsuit will likely be filed in Shiawassee County later this week.          

I’m Rick Pluta