Pekin’s country club sent cease and desist notice from Illinois State Police

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UPDATE (10:15 p.m.) PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois State Police confirmed it served a cease and desist letter to the Pekin Country Club Saturday.

ISP spokeswoman Beth Hundsdorfer wrote in a statement PCC closed without incident and it remains compliant as of Monday. Hundsdorfer said Gov. Pritzker’s Stay at Home Order applies to both public and private golf courses and country clubs.

“Illinois State Police will work with local law enforcement to enforce this order but adhering to the order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every Illinoisan to do their part. “

ISP Spokeswoman Beth Hundsdorfer

(PREVIOUS) The Pekin Country Club (PCC) was told to shut down by Illinois State Police. Through a Freedom of Information Act request, WMBD obtained a number of documents Monday, included is a letter to the club’s general manager Scott Roher.

It explains that the business could face repercussions if it doesn’t close. This comes after the club told members they could continue golfing during Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay at home order.

Mr. Roher –
I received the email below that you sent to members of the Pekin Country Club permitting golf with restrictions. As I’m sure you know, Governor Pritzker’s Stay at Home Order applies to golf courses and country clubs. Golf courses are non-essential and must not operate, even with the restrictions you proposed. This applies to both public and private golf courses. PCC can only perform those minimum basic operations set forth in the order. I have attached a copy of the Executive Order and the link to the FAQs that specifically addresses golf courses. https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/Documents/Essential%20Business%20FAQ.pdf
Please immediately notify your members of your mistake and that they are not permitted to golf on the premises. I will follow up with the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department to make sure they are enforcing this order. I will also notify to the Illinois State Police who also have authority to enforce the Executive Order.
The Department did not come to this decision lightly. We are facing an unparalleled public crisis as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Illinois. The Governor is trying to flatten the curve by
keeping people in their homes. Please note that if Pekin continues to defy this order, it may be
subject to an enforcement action.

Garrett C. Carter
Deputy General Counsel, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

WMBD was also given email correspondence between Deputy General Counsel Garrett Carter, PCC general manager Scott Roher and owner Michael McCaffery.

Inside the file, McCaffery writes: “I have to wonder when we stopped functioning as a free society and where you were given the authority to take away my constitutional rights. Over the years I have invested over a half of million dollars in the property you believe you have the authority to violate my constitutional rights to close or limit the activities that take place on the property. I would like to bring to your attention that it is far safer for me to use the property for its intended use than interacting with the businesses you and your team have deemed essential. Rather than threatening to punish me for using private property, I would think you would want to applaud us for instituting and practicing safe distancing standards. You only have to go to a Walmart, home improvement center, or any other business you and your staff has deemed essential to witness this firsthand that these environments are far more dangerous.”

When asked about the notice during his daily briefings, Pritzker replied saying, “State police are ultimately responsible for enforcing the stay-at-home order and all of the executive orders that we put in place that interact with the public.”

We are also waiting for comment from ISP.

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