Illinois Sheriffs’ Association Responds to Governor’s ‘Outrageous’ Threats

In this March 19, 2020 photo, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker listens to a question during a news conference in Chicago. Amid an unprecedented public health crisis, the nation’s governors are trying to get what they need from the federal government – and fast. But often that means navigating the disorienting …
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association on Friday responded to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s (D) threats to withhold federal funding from localities that refuse to adhere to his stay-at-home order, calling it “outrageous that the Governor is threatening retaliation” and adding that it is insulting to “heroic police officers, corrections officers and local voters.”

“Illinois Sheriffs have been elected by their local citizens to keep their communities safe, a trust that every sheriff and sworn law enforcement officer holds dear,” Illinois Sheriffs Association President Jim Kaitschuk said on Friday.

“It is outrageous that the Governor is threatening retaliation against these leaders and the men and women of their offices. He is insulting heroic police officers, corrections officers and local voters,” he added.

The response follows the threat the billionaire governor issued on Thursday.

“There were leaders in the legal community this morning that spoke about the challenges that will be brought to those local law enforcement to local governments and to businesses that are open,” he said.

“They’re putting people at risk, they’re making their communities unsafe, and they’ll be subject to liability as a result,” he added.

Pritzker detailed the potential consequences for non-compliant entities, explaining that officials are “using lots of different methods, using our licensing capabilities and our ability to pull licenses from businesses.”

“We’re using our ability to make sure that the towns that are following this get funded properly and that those that don’t, don’t,” he added.

According to the Center Square, “sheriffs in Kane, Kendall, Grundy, Douglas, Ogle, and Hancock counties have all recently announced they will not use their deputies to enforce Pritzker’s orders.”

The state’s stay-at-home order is not set to expire until the end of the month. Operations for phase two of the five-phase reopening plan are extremely limited:

Executive Order 2020-32 allows non-essential businesses to re-open and take orders online or over the phone for pick-up outside the store or delivery. The order also allows greenhouses, garden centers, and nurseries, and pet grooming, to re-open with social distancing measures in place and allows some state parks to begin a phased re-opening under the guidance of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  The order allows numerous outdoor activities, adding fishing, boating, and golf when done with precautions established by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Additionally, all individuals over the age of two are required to wear masks in public.

All the while, Pritzker’s wife, M.K. Pritzker, left town, reportedly fleeing to their $12.1 million equestrian estate in South Florida. She, the governor indicated this week, has also visited their farm in Wisconsin, where the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ (D) stay-at-home order:

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