Monroe County Attorney Chris Hitzemann filed a "Motion for Nolle Prosequi" Thursday, declining to prosecute a quote from the Illinois State Police at Washy's saloon in Waterloo last month when it was told by Governor JB Pritzker ordered mitigation efforts for non-compliance with indoor service from customers.
"The quote on this matter states that the defendant violated 20 ILCS 2305 / 8.1, specifically rule 690.40, by allowing indoor customer service," the file states. “There is no such rule. However, the state assumes that the quote is intended to quote Rule 690.50. Nowhere in (this rule) is the indoor service of customers prohibited. "
On September 17, ISP visited Monroe County to see if bars and restaurants were taking mitigation measures to contain the spread of the virus in the East Subway. These weakenings have since been lifted in the U-Bahn Ost.
Washy & # 39; s Saloon at 1324 Jamie Lane in Waterloo posted on Facebook the next day that it was one of the companies quoted by the ISP for "non-compliance with Pritzker's Edicts (Gov. JB)".
"The paper it is written on is not worth it," the company announced at the time. “If we had broken the law, they would have arrested us. We're not indicated, Governor. "
For its part, the ISP said at the time that it was just doing its job.
"In response to consistently high positivity rates in Region 4 and complaints about a small number of companies violating public health regulations, the Illinois Department of Health asked the Illinois State Police for assistance in our role in enforcing the IDPH Emergency rules. " ISP Central Deputy Chief Mindy Carroll said at the time. “As stated in the Administrative Rule, enforcement is an incremental process that begins with a notification of violations. If companies continue to fail, as has happened in some cases in Region 4, state or local law enforcement agencies can issue an offense quote to the company, much like they do when enforcing indoor smoking laws. The local state attorneys determine how to proceed in any other criminal case. "
Washy's attorney in the case, Bond County attorney Thomas Devore, praised his client's failure to pursue his client on Facebook Thursday.
“Do you remember the great fear when the state police were sent to good business owners to dine at home by our despot governor? Remember when I said don't listen to this nonsense because there is no enforceable rule. Well, here's what happens when there is justice. The Honorable Court rejects the quote against my client because he has not violated anything in the running of his business. "
Devore added that he had filed a motion to dismiss the quote.
Washy went to Facebook to celebrate the news.
"As expected, the state's lawsuit against us to allow indoor dining during the latest 'resurrection mitigation' was dismissed in court today," Washy wrote. “There is no law that prohibits eating indoors. Washy & # 39; s Saloon thanks John Wagner and the Monroe County Health Department for providing guidance over the past few months, as well as our attorney Thomas Devore. From the beginning we worked with the health department and followed their instructions on all matters related to COVID. They advised us not to close and we didn't. "