The Illinois attorney general’s office has responded to more than 2,000 calls during the pandemic it said were focused on things such as social distancing violations, but a lawyer representing businesses challenging the governor’s executive orders said that goes too far.
Attorney Thomas DeVore, who represents businesses and individuals in counties across the state suing the governor, said one of his clients told him she got a call that put her on edge.
“She told me what the questions were, it was almost like an inquisition or an investigation of sorts, and when I looked up the name of the attorney that she said called her it was in fact an assistant attorney general for the state of Illinois,” DeVore said. “So, I was a little taken aback by that.”
A spokesperson for Attorney General Kwame Raoul's office confirmed it had responded to more than 2,000 calls about things including businesses not following social distancing guidelines.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the attorney general’s office has received communications from thousands of Illinois residents on issues ranging from businesses potentially engaging in unfair business practices during this crisis, to businesses not following social distancing guidelines or taking adequate steps to protect employees,” the state said. “Staff and attorneys from our office are working diligently to follow up on the thousands of complaints we have received.”
DeVore said that’s not the attorney general’s job.
“The attorney general should have said ‘you know what, call your local health department, call the state health department, call the emergency management agencies and let them look into this stuff,’” DeVore said.
The attorney general is defending Gov. J.B. Pritzker in the lawsuits DeVore has brought forward challenging his consecutive stay-at-home orders.
Despite the state being in Phase 3 of Pritzker's five-phase reopening plan, DeVore said his cases are still important.