BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) – Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner battled the McLean County Attorney General on Friday for tying the hands of the county health department to enforce COVID-19 restrictions.
“I’m the first person to inflate this in public,” Renner said at a hearing for the Special Commission on City Alcohol, which fined a local nightclub and 11 others were warned by Governor JB Pritzker for violating mitigation guidelines.
Prosecutor Don Knapp said in a legal opinion that anyone who violates the governor’s executive order does not commit a crime.
Renner said Knapp had an extremely narrow, ideological and partisan view.
The mayor calls on the McLean County Board to pressure Knapp and the health department to tighten enforcement.
“We have a real public health crisis and there is no excuse why we would be in the top 10 across the country because of spikes. One of the main reasons, not the only one, is that we have a prosecutor who has the health department kept from its work, “said the mayor.
“They have basically been neutered for any kind of enforcement,” added Renner. However, prominent attorney Tom DeVore, who represents one of the Bloomington liquor companies, said the bipartisan appeals attorney is advising prosecutors to take a cautious stance on enforcement.
“I just wanted to point out that this is not just for the district attorney in your district. This is a popular belief,” DeVore said.
25 News reached out to Prosecutor Knapp for comment, but he didn’t respond to the request Friday night.