OWOSSO — The state of Michigan lifted the suspension of a barber’s license, but he still faces a hearing for cutting hair while shops and salons were closed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
An administrative law judge on Tuesday granted the state’s request to lift Karl Manke’s suspension. Regulators said an “imminent threat” to public health no longer exists at the Owosso barbershop.
Manke, 77, reopened his shop on May 4 in defiance of Whitmer’s order to keep barbershops and salons closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Manke’s barber and business licenses were subsequently suspended, but he still kept cutting hair.
He still faces a July 15 hearing on the formal May 12 complaint filed by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, known as LARA.
“If the judge finds that Mr. Manke violated the Occupational Code, the matter will proceed to the Board of Barber Examiners for the imposition of sanctions,” LARA spokesman David Harns said.
The possible penalties are broad, from license revocation to a reprimand.
“Why they won’t drop it, I’ve got no clue,” said Manke’s attorney, David Kallman.
Separately, Manke was ticketed by police for reopening his shop.
Barbershops, salons and nail spas were allowed to reopen Monday across Michigan.