The Kendall County Sheriff’s Office will no longer enforce Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order after Sheriff Dwight Baird sent a letter outlining his position on the matter to the governor’s office.
In the letter, Baird said that calls to his department have been increasing about whether certain behaviors fit within the parameters of the order, but now says his department will not arrest or fine anyone for disobeying the order.
“I was elected and took an oath as your sheriff to enforce the laws and protect your constitutional rights, (and) the governor’s executive order is not a law,” Baird said. “If someone chooses to open their business, hold church service, have a wedding or host a graduation party, the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office will not come and order these activities to cease based solely on the governor’s executive order.”
Baird issued a word of caution to business owners that the state does have the authority over all state-issued licenses, and instructed business owners to discuss reopening procedures with their attorneys and with insurance companies.
Pritzker has warned that businesses that defy the stay-at-home order may not be covered under liability insurance, and that the state could potentially pursue enforcement action against businesses that disobey the order, including issuing citations and other penalties.
Baird did encourage people to social distance, wash their hands and to wear masks, but said that “it is the right” of residents to do what they feel is necessary during the pandemic.
“I am not telling or instructing you to defy the governor’s executive order,” Baird said. “I am merely explaining how the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office will provide service. You need to do what is right and safe for you and your family.”