In defiance of Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-home order, owner Bob Martin cuts a customer’s hair at The Stag barbershop in Snohomish last month. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

In defiance of Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-home order, owner Bob Martin cuts a customer’s hair at The Stag barbershop in Snohomish last month. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Snohomish’s rogue barber can still be sanctioned, state says

A suspended license, threat of arrest and lawsuits have not been keeping Bob Martin from his customers.

SNOHOMISH — Barber Bob Martin keeps cutting hair and brushing aside attempts by the state to get him to stop.

Starting in early May, customers streamed into The Stag Barber Shop in spite of statewide directives barring barber shops and other nonessential businesses from operating in Snohomish County amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He continued serving patrons after the state Department of Licensing suspended his cosmetology operator license and served him with a cease-and-desist order for doing business without a salon shop license.

He didn’t blink when a letter arrived from the Snohomish Health District warning the 79-year-old that he could face criminal charges if he didn’t immediately stop giving haircuts.

And he’s not changed his behavior in spite of May 20 correspondence from the Attorney General’s Office saying that unless he complied with the rules and closed within 48 hours, “we will have no choice but to file a lawsuit against you and seek monetary penalties. This is your final warning.”

As of Thursday, Martin hadn’t been arrested or sued, though those are still possibilities.

And the Department of Licensing had not imposed further punishment, such as revoking his barber’s license or fining him $5,000 for every day he operates. Those options are possible, too.

“We will continue with our action as it relates to his unlicensed activity,” agency spokeswoman Christine Anthony said in an email.

The Attorney General’s Office is counsel for the licensing agency. A spokeswoman for Attorney General Bob Ferguson explained in an email that they are letting the regulatory process proceed and legal action is still an option.

“The purpose of our letter was to make Mr. Martin aware of the full scope of potential penalties he could face as a result of his actions,” she wrote. “While our Cease and Desist letter does not specifically reference a consumer protection lawsuit, Mr. Martin could still face a consumer protection lawsuit, just as he remains subject to criminal penalties if he continues to willfully violate the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation.”

Initially, Martin was alleged to have violated Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-home order. That expired May 31, but non-essential businesses like his were not supposed to be open until Snohomish County moved to the next phase of the state’s reopening process. That happened Friday.

Even so, his case won’t be moot, Anthony said.

Martin declined to be interviewed Thursday, referring calls to his legal advisor, Rick Martin of Texas, who is not related.

Rick Martin would not confirm or deny that his client received any of the communiques, including the attorney general’s cease-and-desist order.

“Who’s to say we ever received it?” he said. “We’re not acknowledging we ever received it.”

Bob Martin’s licenses are up to date, he said. Records of the state agency say otherwise.

And Rick Martin insisted the state lacks legal authority to take the scissors out of his client’s hands.

“He is totally legit. We’re not going to pay attention to those scam orders,” Rick Martin said. “You cannot force people to close their businesses.”

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos

Talk to us

More in Local News

Owners of Feedme Hospitality get together with Edmonds Chamber of Commerce staff to hand off a check that helped with costs of putting on the Edmonds Kind of 4th annual Independence Day celebration. The money came from lemonade stand sales. In the photo are Andrew Leckie, Shubert Ho, Greg Urban, Erica Sugg and Alicia Moreno.  (Edmonds Chamber of Commerce)
Way to go

Lemonade stand raised $2,350 for An Edmonds Kind of 4th The Feedme… Continue reading

Mukilteo Council candidates (top L-R): Louis Harris, Peter Zieve, Tina Over, Ayesha Riaz Khan, Kevin Stoltz; (bottom L-R): Caitlein Ryan, Tom Jordal, Steve Schmalz, Tim Ellis, Carolyn “Dode” Carlson, Alex Crocco.
11 candidates in races for 3 seats on Mukilteo City Council

New and familiar names will face off in the primary to narrow the field to six for the November election.

COVID-19 case reported at crowded Lynnwood council meeting

A person who attended the Monday meeting tested positive for the coronavirus just days later.

Carlo Ponte (Rebecca Ponte) 20210729
‘Endangered’ Marysville toddler missing for almost 3 weeks

Jorge Ponte picked up his son for a scheduled visit July 10. Then they disappeared.

Abuse claims settled; Catholic principal worked in Everett

The allegations are from Sister Dolores Crosby’s time at a Seattle school from 1979 to 1992.

Ten people were injured in a three-vehicle rollover crash Sunday afternoon that closed both directions of U.S. 2. (Washington State Patrol)
10 people hurt in three-vehicle crash on U.S. 2 near Monroe

A 14-year-old was taken to Harborview Medical Center, plus six more Everett and Monroe hospitals.

$500,000 available for Edmonds nonprofits

Organizations can apply for Edmonds Rescue Plan funds until Aug. 20.

Top row (L-R): Lacey Sauvageau, Don Schwab, Jacob L. Vail. Bottom row (L-R): Demi Chatters, Kelly Fox, Ben Zarlingo.
Wave of first-time candidates who seek Everett council posts

Three people in each of two races are running to represent the city’s newly formed Districts 3 and 5.

Temporary Lake Stevens Library to open this summer

The location will serve as the Sno-Isle branch until the proposed civic center campus is complete.

Most Read