CLAY CO. – Judge Michael McHaney Friday ordered Governor JB Pritzker to appear in his Clay County Courtroom at 1 p.m. next Friday to explain why he “should not be held in indirect civil contempt.”
Failure to appear in court may result in a warrant for arrest, according to the order.
State Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) complained to the Clay County judge that Governor Pritzker is ignoring the court’s previous order and is exercising emergency powers concerning the COVID crisis extending beyond state law’s 30-day provision for such powers
The Governor’s Office responded on Friday to the contempt motion, saying that motion is legally baseless, frivolous and a distraction from the serious crisis facing the state.
They said the issuance of the Order to Show Cause, without allowing the Governor an opportunity to respond to the flawed motion for contempt, filed only days ago, is procedurally improper, violating elementary principles of fairness.
Additionally, they noted in the statement that the State is grappling with its most serious challenge to the lives and health of its residents with an increasing number of counties at a warning level Friday due to outbreaks of cases, and that the Governor will continue to focus on protecting public health and not on the “political sideshow” in Clay County.