Restaurants warned of indoor dining crackdown; attorney calls it empty threat

FOX Files

ILLINOIS – A Metro East restaurant described a phone call from Illinois State Police warning they’re coming soon. He said they told him he’d faced “significant fines” if the restaurant is not closed inside.

Illinois State Police confirmed to Fox2 they are issuing Class A misdemeanor complaints with potential fines up to $2500.

A spokeswoman of ISP said the fines would be determined by a court.

She added the Division of Criminal Investigation has received about 126 complaints that they’re looking into statewide.

However, according to an attorney who’s representing hundreds of Illinois businesses, police have no authority to tell a restaurant they cannot have indoor dining.

Attorney Tom DeVore, an attorney with the Silver Lake Group said “There is no statutory section in Illinois law that says you cannot have indoor dining. It’s that simple. I assure you with 100 percent certainty the state police knows that.”

DeVore joined us via Zoom to explain how Illinois law is specific on what restaurants can be cited for.

He pointed to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Emergency Amendment Section 690.50 which allows citations related to two issues – “wearing of coverings” and “gatherings of more than 50 people.”

DeVore added, “It has nothing to do with indoor dining.” He continued, “State police tried it twice Chris. They tried it in Bond County and they tried it in Monroe County. The court threw it out and in Bond County, the state’s attorney didn’t even enter it into the system because they said there is no violation of the Department of Health rule for indoor dining.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About the FOX Files

The Fox Files are groundbreaking investigations you won’t see anywhere else. The series is well known for breaking the Pam Hupp story nationally. The reports that led to the exoneration of Russ Faria. But, it is far from the only time in which our investigations led to overturned convictions and freedom for the wrongfully accused. The Fox Files investigations do not fit into just one category, other than the fact our reports shine a light on issues and corruption in ways you won’t see anywhere else.

You won’t know what to expect as our reports often take twists that surprise even Fox Files investigator Chris Hayes.

“You never know where the truth will lead and you have to keep searching for it, even when you think you might be done,” Hayes said.

From getting arrested for trying to cover a public meeting, to getting law enforcement involved in his report about a daycare fight club, the Fox Files has been at the forefront of breaking news investigations in the St. Louis area.

It doesn’t stop just in St. Louis. The Pam Hupp/Russ Faria story took him to Lincoln County. Fox 2 was the first to report, nationally, on the synthetic drug epidemic when it began in St. Charles County, MO. In St. Louis County, our Fox Files reporting led to the dismantling of some police departments, including the departments of Uplands Park and Jennings. And in the City of St. Louis, our investigations led to swift government actions, such as our report that led to the Governor’s ordered shut down of a daycare.

Our reporting in St. Louis also led to former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ exclusive Fox Files interviews involving his court fight to oust the chief prosecutor while attempting to prove that political corruption led to an illegal overturning of a state election.

“It’s not always bad news,” Hayes said about a recent victory for a restaurant in his coverage of a St. Clair County Illinois issue. A Fox Files report, exposing a health department’s mistake over the COVID-19 pandemic, led to an overturning of a decision, allowing the business to open for limited inside dining.

Another investigation took us to Madison County, where prosecutors praised Fox 2’s coverage while shutting down an illegal synthetic drug business – and to Monroe County, where we uncovered key evidence in the Chris Coleman murder trial.

Even the national media, continues reaching out to local affiliate Fox 2 KTVI and the Fox Files, for its work on cases that are important to St. Louis. When you see a network television’s coverage of St. Louis, you’ll often see that they gathered information that was first uncovered right here.

Popular

Latest News

More News