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Illinois State Police: Pekin Country Club’s golf course complies with cease and desist

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UPDATE: (10:35 p.m.) Pekin City Council member Michael Garrison harshly criticized the cease and desist letter at Monday night's council meeting.

"It's tantamount to communism," said Pekin Council member Michael Garrison.

He said, "What has my country become, coronavirus or not?"

"This is not giving me a warm and fuzzy feeling," Garrison said of the state action.

He said someone should send Gov. J B Pritzker a copy of the U.S. constitution.

Garrison was the only Pekin council member to speak out about the situation. Mayor Mark Luft noted the Pekin Country Club is not within city boundaries.

PEKIN (WEEK) - Illinois State Police confirmed with 25 News that they served a cease and desist letter to the Pekin Country Club Saturday.

The country club's golf course had remained open, despite Governor JB Prtizker's order for non-essential businesses to close.

ISP's Chief Public Information Officer, Beth Hundsdorfer, said the letter was served without incident and that the golf course was compliant through Monday.

Hundsdorfer said, "Governor Pritzker’s Stay at Home Order applies to golf courses and country clubs. This applies to both public and private golf courses."

She said state police with work with local law enforcement to enforce the order, adding "the order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every Illinoisan to do their part."

Last Friday, Tazewell County Sheriff Jeff Lower said he could not legally stop the country club from allowing people to golf under social distancing because it's private property.

Gov. Pritzker also responded to the course being open in his weekend news briefing, saying he would discourage any golf course from operating right now.

In addition to state police, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity warned the Pekin club to shut down operations over the weekend, saying they planned to inform state police about the matter.

On Monday, 25 News tried to reach Pekin Country Club General Manager, Scott Roher, for comment, but did not hear back.

Molly Jirasek

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