HOLLAND — The Holland salon owner who has opened her business, violating state orders requiring closure of nonessential businesses, is being charged with a misdemeanor.
Sarah Huff first opened Ardor+Grit Salon on May 15 and then again on May 22, and remained open this week following the Memorial Day weekend.
Huff has been charged with a misdemeanor for violation of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-69, one of the iterations of the Stay Home, Stay Safe orders closing places of public accommodation.
The Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office authorized the charge Wednesday.
Lee Fisher, chief assistant prosecutor at the Prosecutor’s Office, said he and Holland police have tried asking Huff to comply with the order and have explained the consequences that might follow if she chose to open her business.
“This is what we have to do – we have to take some action,” Fisher said. “As much as we’d like her to voluntarily comply, we’re at the point where we have to do something.”
The Prosecutor’s Office sent Huff a letter the day she first opened, requesting that she comply with the governor’s order. Huff has incorrectly called this a cease-and-desist order.
“We really don’t want to make people’s lives worse,” Fisher said. “We were trying to get voluntary compliance from many other businesses in the county, and everyone has complied except for her. Right outside my office window, across the street, is a salon that is complying with the governor’s order. It’s not fair to this salon that’s been closed for her to be able to open and for us to not take any action.”
Karl Manke, a barber in Owosso who opened his barbershop earlier in May, is facing two charges and his business license was suspended by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). On Thursday, the Michigan Court of Appeals directed a lower court to order Manke to shut down his barbershop, reversing the lower court’s earlier decision.
A spokesperson for LARA confirmed the state agency is looking into Huff and her salon, but could not comment further on the investigation.
Since opening May 15, Huff’s story has been featured on “Fox & Friends” and she has publicly attended rallies calling for a reopening of the state, including the “Operation Haircut” demonstration on the state Capitol lawn last week, during which she said she was ticketed for cutting hair.
The current charge against Huff is tied specifically to the May 15 opening. More charges could be considered down the road, Fisher said.
Penalties for being convicted of violating the governor’s stay-home order include a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail.