By Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2020

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) - Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames says she did not violate the city’s stay-at-home order when she visited a closed nail shop.

After a picture that circulated social media sparked criticism of the mayor showing her nails soaking in a bowl, Ames explained she wasn’t getting a manicure but was soaking her fingertips in acetone to remove the artificial nails.

Ames said the salon owner told her the shop wasn’t open, but that she would mix up some solution for pickup, according to Beaumont Enterprise. The photograph was taken while Ames was soaking her nails to learn how to take them off.

Ames said she didn’t know who took the photo or even realize there was a third person in the salon. The owner said it was an employee who had stopped by to pick up nail polish to use at home. The worker has been informed she cannot return to the shop, though it was not immediately known for how long.

The mayor provided contact information for the salon owner, who backed up her story.

Nail salons are among the businesses ordered by Ames to close after a stay-at-home order was announced March 27 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Violating the restriction is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000.

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