Dallas County State District Judge Eric Moyé has definitely abused privileges by unjustly jailing salon owner Shelly Luther. He definitely has abused his discretion.
Attorney General Ken Paxton told Dallas County State District Judge Eric Moyé in a letter that he abused his discretion when he “unjustly jailed” Shelly Luther.
With the backing of the Republican governor, the Texas attorney general is urging a Dallas judge to free a salon owner he jailed Tuesday after she refused to apologize for keeping her business open in violation of the governor’s coronavirus order.
The office of Attorney General Ken Paxton told Dallas County State District Judge Eric Moyé in a letter that he abused his discretion when he “unjustly jailed” Shelly Luther for seven days, Fox News reported.
In a tweet, Paxton said Luther “should immediately be released from jail.”
“Locking her up is a misguided abuse of power, especially considering Dallas County released real criminals to ‘protect them from COVID-19,'” he wrote.
“Release her now so she can return to her family.”
In his letter, Paxton said that as “a small business owner, she wanted to help her employees feed their children.”
“Needless to say, these are laudable goals that warrant the exercise of enforcement discretion,” the attorney general said.
The judge gave Luther three choices: to apologize for selfishness, pay a fine and shutdown until Friday, or serve jail time.
“I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids is not selfish,” Luther told the judge. “I have hairstylists that are going hungry because they would rather feed their kids. So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision. But I am not going to shut the salon.”
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said he joins the attorney general “in disagreeing with the excessive action” by the Dallas judge.
“As I have made clear through prior pronouncements, jailing Texans for non-compliance with executive orders should always be the last available option,” he said. “Compliance with executive orders during this pandemic is important to ensure public safety; however, surely there are less restrictive means to achieving that goal than jailing a Texas mother.”
Abbott’s new executive orders have given Texas salons, barbershops and spas the green light to reopen.