Michigan Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel unabashedly admitted over the weekend that political motivations were at play in her decision to arrest a defiant restaurant owner in her state.
What are the details?
The attorney general posted a statement to Twitter on Sunday regarding the arrest of Marlena Pavlos-Hackney, a restaurant owner from Holland, Michigan, targeted by authorities in the state for continuing to operate her business in violation of the coronavirus guidelines.
In the statement, Nessel cited Pavlos-Hackney’s repeated health violations, but also did not shy away from pointing to several political factors that precipitated Pavlos-Hackney’s arrest — which apparently included an appearance the restaurant owner made on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” as well as her similarities to former President Donald Trump. Here’s what the attorney general said (emphasis added):
Marlena Pavlos-Hackney had countless opportunities to comply with even the most basic health and safety protocols to protect her community from the spread of COVID-19. She defied her local health department and the court at every turn, instead choosing to taunt health inspectors, law enforcement and the courts at every turn — going on Tucker Carlson and setting up a lucrative GoFundMe account instead of making even the slightest effort to protect her customers, her workers and her community. She is no martyr and no hero. One cannot repeat the mantra of “Law and Order” and support the activities of Ms. Pavlos-Hackney. But if you cheered Donald Trump when he bragged about the many ways he avoided military service while others complied with their legal obligations, it’s no wonder you revere this woman. Making personal sacrifice for the greater good of our state and nation was once considered admirable Not anymore.
Marlena Pavlos-Hackney had countless opportunities to comply with even the most basic health and safety protocols t… https://t.co/dJ4gsvXQUT
— Dana Nessel (@Dana Nessel)1616352160.0
Pavlos-Hackney, who had her food license suspended over her refusal to require masks or social distancing in her restaurant, had continued to operate her business in defiance of court orders. Then last week, she was taken into custody by authorities and threatened with 93 days in jail for criminal contempt.
On Wednesday, Carlson shot back at Nessel over the statement, calling her an “out of control” ideologue who “cares only about partisan advantage.”
“She’s also a bit of a dim bulb. Not a super genius,” the anchor added. “That’s why, when she was asked why she put Marlena Pavlos-Hackney in jail, Nessel actually admitted the real reason … she said straightforwardly that Marlena Pavlos-Hackney had dared to come on this show at 8:00 p.m. and complain about her. That’s no longer allowed.”
“To compound the offense, Pavlos-Hackney tried to raise money for her own legal defense. That, too, is now a crime in Dana Nessel’s Michigan,” Carlson added.
Pavlos-Hackney has raised over $275,000 to cover legal fees through a GoFundMe page.
Tucker: Michigan AG arrested guest after appearing on this show
Pavlos-Hackney was released from jail on Tuesday, according to WMMT-TV. The news outlet reported that a county judge had ruled she would remain in jail until she paid a $7,500 fine and agreed to close down her restaurant.
Republican lawmakers in the state have spoken out in defense of Pavlos-Hackney, who they claim was simply trying to support herself, her family, and her employees by keeping her restaurant open. They held a rally outside of her restaurant this week.