MASSAC COUNTY, Ill. – Massac County Sheriff Chad Kaylor issued a statement earlier this week announcing his deputies will not be enforcing the Gov. J.D. Pritzker’s orders, despite the governor’s strong-armed tactics.
Pritzker is threatening to use local law enforcement and state police against businesses that reopen in defiance of his policies.
The governor gave the stern warning on the same day Madison County officials went against the governor’s public health orders and started to reopen, Fox2Now reported.
“Businesses and individual professionals who are licensed by state agencies will be held accountable for breaching public health orders,” Pritzker said during a press conference on Wednesday, according to Illinois Policy. “Local law enforcement and the Illinois State Police can and will take action.”
The governor noted that “counties that try to reopen in defiance may not be reimbursed by FEMA for damages they cause because they ignored the law.”
Massac County Sheriff Kaylor posted the following statement on Facebook earlier in the week:
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought unprecedented times. As Sheriff, I have spent many hours studying the virus and the Executive Orders placed upon us. Throughout history, the Sheriff has been known as the keeper of your Constitutional Rights. When I took the office of the Sheriff, I took an oath to continue that tradition. It became clear to me that the Governor’s Executive Order was not enforceable by law enforcement. The order was not drafted by a legislative body; therefore, it is not a law. The order was not signed by a judge.
I have given great thought on how to handle the Governor’s Executive Order. I have tried to balance public health with the Constitution of the United States. Ultimately, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the law of the land. Each person is free to speak and have your own opinion. You are free to assemble, and you are free to worship.
Therefore, the Massac County Sheriff’s Office will not be enforcing the Governor’s Executive Order. We cannot legally enforce the order as it stands. Law Enforcement must have a state statute to enforce any order or a Judges signature on an order to enforce it.
I ask that you use common sense and respect in these times. The Coronavirus is real and has invaded our county. We are incredibly lucky it has been held to a minimum. There remain many unanswered questions about the virus. If you choose to follow the Governor’s Executive Order and health guidelines, I ask that you respect the decision of those that do not. If you choose not to follow the Governor’s Executive Order and health guidelines, I ask that you respect the decision of those that do. I ask that you use social distancing when possible. I ask that you continue to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.
These are trying times on all of us. Many of us have become restless and impatient. There will be an end to this. Stand Strong. Stay Healthy.
Sheriff Chad Kaylor
Kaylor is among the growing number of sheriffs who have said they will not enforce “rules” that continue to lose when challenged in court.