(The Center Square) – A state senator has filed an ethics complaint against the Pritzker administration after a professional regulatory body investigating a school board member who is also a doctor demanded to know his position on mask use for children in schools.
Dr. Jeremy Henrichs is also an elected member of the Mahomet-Seymore school board. He raised questions about mask use for children in schools. Emails indicate a state investigator with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation opened an investigation after a complaint. Doctors need a license from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to practice medicine in the state. The agency has the power revoke licenses.
State Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, said he reached out to the Pritzker administration last week “through the normal channels” when he was made aware of the investigation. After urging the administration to drop the investigation, Rose said it was made clear the investigation was continuing. Rose said it could have a chilling effect on elected school board members and others.
Rose said he filed an ethics complaint with the Illinois Executive Inspector General against the Pritzker administration.
“In the United States of America we do not settle political disputes through threats, intimidation and coercion,” Rose said. “In fact, there’s actually a statute about this. It’s called threatening a public official.”
Rose said what his constituent is going through is unacceptable.
“They're threatening him on one hand with an official investigation of his medical license for his conduct as a school board member on what may or may not happen at some point in time when he might vote on something,” Rose said. “That is wrong, That’s wrong on any level. This is North Korea, this is Stassi level stuff, OK? We are not these countries.”
Rose demanded the governor not only denounce the investigation, but to also publicly apologize.
“And quite frankly it would be nice if governor billionaire would reimburse Dr. Henrick some of the money he is out in lawyer fees,” Rose said.
Messages seeking comment from IDFPR were not returned. The governor’s office didn’t respond to Rose’s demands when asked about them on Thursday. The governor's office told WCIA it will not seek to punish those who disagree with Pritzker's statewide school mask mandate.
“The Pritzker administration has not and will not seek disciplinary action against the professional licenses of individuals who disagree with the mask mandate,” Pritzker’s spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said.