Peoria County Will Continue Enforcing Stay-At-Home Order

May 1, 2020

As Woodford County and East Peoria go their own way against Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home order, Peoria County's chief prosecutor said she'll continue upholding it.

Peoria County State's Attorney Jodi Hoos said her role is to enforce the law, not make it.

"I will follow the executive order as it remains in place, and will view any cases that come through my office with that lens of whether it was a violation of the executive order," she said. "So I think our role is not to pick and choose what laws we follow, but follow the ones in place."

She said Peoria County law enforcement agencies are currently handling violations of the stay-at-home order on a case-by-case basis. A Washington man was charged with felony aggravated battery after reportedly intentionally coughing on people at an Aldi grocery store in Peoria recently.

Earlier this week, Woodford County State's Attorney Greg Minger announced he wouldn't enforce or prosecute Pritzker's modified stay-at-home order, citing constitutional issues with its extended duration, and a lack of compensation for financial damages suffered under the order.

Hoos said she disagrees with that logic.

"My view of how they interpreted that, or the arguments they're making are constitutional arguments," she said. "I don't agree with those. I think the statute is pretty clear on this. It did give the governor the power to do this."

She said it's the role of legislators, not state's attorneys, to alter that statute.

"I understand that people are getting anxious. People are getting frustrated. I am, too. But at the end of the day, we can't just resort to lawlessness," Hoos said. "We have to follow what's being brought down. And if we don't, why have any law, frankly?"

Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell and Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion III said last week they will continue upholding the governor's order, but do expect to see increasing impatience and more violations.

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