Tazewell State’s Attorney: My office has not received complaints regarding criminal violation of Pritzker’s executive order

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An empty restaurant (Nexstar, file)

TAZEWELL COUNTY (WMBD) — The Tazewell County Health Department and State’s Attorney both say they are working with the Illinois State Police to address complaints surrounding businesses operating as normal despite Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive order.

Last week, WMBD received concerns from a viewer about how the health department and state’s attorney are handling businesses in Tazewell County that choose to disobey Pritzker’s new guidelines under the Tier 3 Mitigation strategy.

Sara Sparkman, a spokesperson for TCHD, wrote in a statement a business has to receive three complaints before a business could be issued a ticket by ISP.

In her email, she explained businesses who are not following the order will first receive education on how it should operate under new guidelines. If that establishment receives a second complaint, they will then get a letter that offers technical assistance, according to Sparkman.

She wrote if the same business receives the third complaint, the site will get a visit from the department’s inspector. She wrote after the site visit, all the information surrounding the complaint is forwarded to ISP.

Her email reads, ” TCHD communicates with Tazewell County State’s Attorney on all legal matters.” She said in order for the process to be complete, a ticket must be written by ISP.

Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz wrote in an email to WMBD Monday his office has not received any reports from “any law enforcement agency regarding a criminal violation of the Governor’s Executive Order.”

Umholtz explains criminal violations of the governor’s executive order are handled the same way any other criminal complaints that go to his office.

“The law enforcement agency completes an initial investigation of the alleged violation and determines if there is sufficient evidence to warrant review by a prosecutor,” Umholtz’s email reads. “With regard to reviewing reports of a criminal violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders, we will follow the same process that we follow in reviewing any criminal complaint. We will review facts of a particular matter, determine if further investigation is needed, and apply the law to those facts in making a charging decision.  We will not engage in addressing hypothetical scenarios.”

According to Sparkman, some businesses have received technical assistance from TCHD.

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