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*** UPDATED x2 - Governor protected by “absolute privilege” of executive immunity - DeVore threatens lawsuit *** Pritzker calls DeVore a “grifter”

Thursday, Oct 21, 2021

* Background is here if you need it. Gov. Pritzker was asked today about attorney Tom DeVore’s handling of a lawsuit against 145 school districts over the mask mandate

Well, you know, he’s a grifter who is taking money from parents who are being taken advantage of. This is, we are trying to keep kids and parents and grandparents and teachers and everybody that’s in the community of the school safe. That’s my job as governor, that’s our job as elected officials.

And I have to say that, you know that going around and suing school districts and the governor and the Attorney General and everybody else in order to keep people less safe, that makes zero sense to me. So we’re gonna push back as hard as we can, certainly we’ll be in court.

The Attorney General, I just want to praise him and his staff. He has done an amazing job. You don’t want to spend all your time doing this, there are an awful lot of things that the Attorney General’s Office does to protect consumers out there. But the more you have to send lawyers out to fight these ridiculous lawsuits that are frankly making people less safe, that are harming our children, then you know, the less you can do to really lift up the entire state.

So I hope that the, you know, the reign of grifting and terror that he is trying to bring about in the school districts will come to and end.

*** UPDATE *** You knew this would happen

After Pritzker’s “grifter” comments, DeVore said Thursday afternoon he’s hired an attorney and will sue the governor for defamation for being called a thief.

“That’s an insult to each and every one of my clients that are trying to protect their children,” DeVore said in an interview. “Not only is it defamation against my character and my profession, it is an insult against every one of those parents who are trying to protect their children.”

Illinois Supreme Court, Blair v. Walker, 1976

We hold that the Governor is protected from actions for civil defamation by an absolute privilege when issuing statements which are legitimately related to matters committed to his responsibility. […]

We emphasize that today’s decision is not an endorsement of either the tenor or the content of the defendant’s statements concerning the plaintiffs. The Governor’s position could undoubtedly have been expressed to the people with language less calculated to injure the plaintiffs’ personal and professional reputations. While it is unfortunate that the application of executive immunity may occasionally deny relief to a deserving individual, the sacrifice is justified by the public’s need for free and unfettered action by its representatives.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

77 Comments
  1. - Arsenal - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 10:25 am:

    Where is the lie.


  2. - OneMan - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 10:26 am:

    Here comes the next lawsuit, hopefully, he spells the name right this time.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 10:27 am:

    ===Well, you know, he’s a grifter===

    All that probably needed to be said, anytime DeVore and his grifting takes time away from the governor, even unneeded words, DeVore uses the angst fit more grifting.

    The marks DeVore keeps collecting, they already think the governor is “wrong”.

    Losing gracefully is lucrative with easy marks.


  4. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 10:34 am:

    Sheep, shorn. Same as it ever was.


  5. - The Way I See It - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 10:34 am:

    Something tells me that Devore is gonna be using these comments for more grifting.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 10:36 am:

    ===Devore is gonna be using these comments===

    Exactly.

    The idea that DeVore’s “foe” is attacking him, it adds to the allure.

    DeVore is a grifter, nothing more.


  7. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 10:38 am:

    Good on the governor for pushing back. Illinois ain’t Trump world, like the GOP has become.


  8. - Anon E Moose - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 10:39 am:

    Pritzker is right to point this idiocy out


  9. - Norseman - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 10:49 am:

    If you grifter grifts, then he is what the Gov says he is.


  10. - Robocalls - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 10:49 am:

    We do need to free up AG to track down and stop these damn car warranty robocalls. Still get those regularly.


  11. - Mary - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 10:51 am:

    It would actually be easier to uphold mask mandates philosophically if they were driven by local school boards vs. a Pritzker exec order. https://districtadministration.com/track-school-mask-rules-requirements-state-by-state/


  12. - Jocko - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 10:53 am:

    Now that he’s flush with cash, maybe DeVore can finally settle up his $1000 bet.

    https://capitolfax.com/2020/11/17/stay-classy-goofballs/


  13. - Shytown - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 10:53 am:

    I don’t think the governor would have a problem proving that statement in court


  14. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 11:04 am:

    Very curious if he has more lawsuits planned.

    I know of at least one district where anti-maskers had collected funds on FB for a Devore lawsuit and said they had met their goal for money to give to Devore before the deadline but that district wasn’t included in this lawsuit.


  15. - Club J - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 11:04 am:

    This morning DeVore had his rally call on the Bishop show. He addressed that he’s not doing this for the money. Cause if anyone knew him he doesn’t need to money. He doing this because someone has to stop the Governor and the Legislature won’t.

    He claims not to be against masks other than they don’t work. He keeps putting up the numbers of the Hillsboro School who has gone mask free. The things he rattles on about is just like he selling these theories to despite people.


  16. - Tulip96 - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 11:09 am:

    Grandson of Man=== Unfortunately, south of I80, many of the local areas are Trump world.


  17. - H-W - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 11:15 am:

    We need a judge to quickly acknowledge the truth of this argument. The Executive does have the Constitutional obligation and authority to protect and defend the citizens of the state against all harms. This is the entire argument. Governors and Presidents control the military and the public health apparatus of their states and the nation. It really is that simple.


  18. - sal-says - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 11:18 am:

    == Unfortunately, south of I80, many of the local areas are Trump world. ==

    Sadly, we live in very scary times.


  19. - H-W - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 11:27 am:

    This is what grifting looks like:

    145 X $5,000 = $725,000
    Filing fee: $500, for one case.


  20. - dr. reason a. goodwin - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 11:27 am:

    Devore is just raising his profile for the 5th District Appellate race. God help us if he wins.


  21. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 11:30 am:

    H-W, your math has me truly appreciating what DeVore is doing here. I wish I could get rich off of rubes while doing almost nothing. But, you know… morals….


  22. - A Watcher - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 12:07 pm:

    Our HS district is one of those named in this suit. This guy is doubly costing parents because he raised money off them and the parent taxpayers that have to pay our attorneys $300 per hour to defend it. Pritzker drives me nuts on a lot of things but he is dead right on this.


  23. - Highland, IL - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 12:11 pm:

    ===Very curious if he has more lawsuits planned. ===

    Some of our district teachers and school staff were raising money to hire Devore for a suit separate from the parents.


  24. - theCardinal - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 12:27 pm:

    Wondering whats the cost to the local school district who now have to have legal review this ?


  25. - AnonymousFool - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 12:31 pm:

    -But, you know… morals….- From what I was told, you have to have zero morals to enter the legal field. Now I know this is not true at all, but it helps if your a grifter like Devore is.


  26. - Betty - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 12:38 pm:

    Yeah to the update
    The governor should not be calling people names

    How childish


  27. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 12:39 pm:

    Who would have thought a Democratic Governor would criticize a trial lawyer?


  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 12:39 pm:

    Will DeVore be ready to be deposed?

    That’d be fun.


  29. - Pundent - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    =145 X $5,000 = $725,000=

    Well DeVore did previously say that his goal was not to actually win these cases. I guess that’s just the going rate for owning the libs.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 12:45 pm:

    === did previously say that his goal was not to actually win these cases.===

    That deposition will be a doozy …

    “Did you say in a press conference… “


  31. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 12:54 pm:

    How can one who has no character be defamed? The dude is trying to stop elected officials from saving lives and health in a pandemic. Pritzker is being nice, in terms of his word choices. He could use far worse language.


  32. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 12:55 pm:

    Good luck with the lawsuit, pal. It’s clearly an opinion and it’s likely a court would find as such. Follow through and expect discovery requests for client trust account and billing records, and a fight over production of those. I think JB can afford an army of defense attorneys.


  33. - OMG - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 12:55 pm:

    Was it defamation last month when Devore called IDPH and the Gov “no good, sons of b*tches and “useless b*stards?” Devore is not only grifting, but “predatory” is another applicable word. I hope the Gov crushes him with every resource the state has to offer.


  34. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:02 pm:

    Devore, The thing is called, Discovery, look into it because you and your list of clients are going to need to know the meaning.


  35. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:02 pm:

    == That’s an insult to each and every one of my clients ==

    Also correct.


  36. - DirtLawyer - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:04 pm:

    When last I checked, truth is an absolute defense.


  37. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:06 pm:

    == teachers and school staff were raising money to hire Devore for a suit separate from the parents. ==

    Yes, they are planning on filing another lawsuit regarding the vaccine mandates for teachers next.


  38. - charles in charge - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:12 pm:

    Grifters everywhere are insulted to be associated with DeVore, and currently exploring their litigation options.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:23 pm:

    How tasty would it be if Pritzker drained DeVore of all his grifting money by fighting this every step of the way, and getting DeVore deposed, having DeVore produce invoices, show work product, the circles Pritzker, legally, could make DeVore take, the hoops…


  40. - Jocko - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:24 pm:

    ==That deposition will be a doozy==

    “Didn’t you once refer to a special needs student working a concession stand as a window licker?”


  41. - JS Mill - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:33 pm:

    For a guy that likes to make the tough guy talk DeVore has some awfully delicate feelings.

    =The governor should not be calling people names=

    Perfectly fine by me what the governor did and said. No need for the governor to be the fanatic right’s punching bag without returning fore now and then.

    =Who would have thought a Democratic Governor would criticize a trial lawyer?=

    Who would have thought that conservatives would be so frivolously litigious


  42. - OurMagician - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:34 pm:

    Tom you misspelled “definition of character”.


  43. - Demoralized - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:36 pm:

    ==if they were driven by local school boards==

    If the local school boards would do the right thing then this mandate from the state wouldn’t be necessary.

    ==The governor should not be calling people names==

    Grow up. Sorry your fee fees were hurt


  44. - Blue Dog - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:49 pm:

    I didnt think comedians could get sued.


  45. - Betty - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:49 pm:

    My fee fees not
    Hurt
    I don’t give a rats behind

    But it is childish for someone in his position to be name calling
    Diminishes the office


  46. - JS Mill - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:50 pm:

    ===if they were driven by local school boards===

    Folks, you have to remember to put the /s when you make a snarky comment like that. I mean, that was snark right? You couldn’t be that silly for real.

    I mean, the news stories are not hard to find where the crazies are showing up at school board meetings and threatening board members and administrators.This never should have been in their hands in the first place. There may be a few doctors on school boards around the state, but none are experts in the field of epidemiology. Those are the people advising the governor and that is where the decision belongs.


  47. - Betty - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:50 pm:

    It appears the gov
    Fee fees are hurt
    Hence the name calling


  48. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:51 pm:

    === But it is childish for someone in his position to be name calling. Diminishes the office===

    Please tell me you voted for Trump, lol

    Calling one a grifter isn’t name calling, it’s describing how one earns.


  49. - Demoralized - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:51 pm:

    Assigning an accurate adjective to someone is not name calling. It’s stating truth.


  50. - charles in charge - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    ==But it is childish for someone in his position to be name calling
    Diminishes the office==

    I’m not the Governor, so I’ll say it: TOM DEVORE IS A GRIFTER.

    No office-diminishing here, jusT facts. Ok?


  51. - Amalia - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    at what point does Devore enter the ARDC doesn’t like that zone?


  52. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 1:56 pm:

    ===But it is childish for someone in his position to be name calling===

    It’s childish for people to put ‘Pritzker Sucks” signs on their lawns and in their businesses too.

    Devore is a cheap hustler. The only downside to Pritzker calling him out is that this will extend Devore’s 15 minutes of fame before he’s forgotten.


  53. - Asteroid of Caution - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 2:08 pm:

    I’m old enough to remember when the GOP thought frivolous lawsuits were destroying Illinois.

    Now, Tom DeVore is their leader.


  54. - Not a Superstar - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 2:13 pm:

    OurMagician: Archie Bunker also called it “definition of character.” 9-year-old me had to have a sibling explain what he meant to say. Great memories.


  55. - The Other Rich Hill - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 2:19 pm:

    The real question is if Devour is suing Pritzker or Pridisker for defamation?

    Maybe his new law firm motto is “Who dis?”


  56. - JS Mill - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 2:28 pm:

    =It appears the gov
    Fee fees are hurt
    Hence the name calling=

    What a dazzling command of the language you have.

    I will try to translate your inarticulate response for the rest of the class: “No, YOU are.”


  57. - Betty - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 2:35 pm:

    Nope


  58. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 2:38 pm:

    Hey Betty? Learn how the English language actually works.


  59. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 2:39 pm:

    -Hence the name calling-

    I take it you also feel it would be beneath an Illinois Appellate Court justice or candidate for such a position to engage in name calling?


  60. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 2:41 pm:

    -at what point does Devore enter the ARDC doesn’t like that zone?-

    Not likely unless he gets referred by a judge for his conduct, or unless a client complains that they didn’t get their money’s worth, he ignored them, etc. Their rules focus on what the lawyer does in their cases, and how they treat their clients. What can be done about what they say or do in the public arena is very limited.


  61. - Me2 - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 2:47 pm:

    Grifter - definition - one who engages in petty or small-scale swindling. DeVore knows the lawsuits are largely doomed, yet he keeps ginning up outrage in order to get parents to pay him their hard-earned money. If that isn’t small-scale swindling, what is?


  62. - Medvale School for the Gifted. - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 2:50 pm:

    Truth is a defense.


  63. - Pundent - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 2:58 pm:

    =But it is childish for someone in his position to be name calling=

    Referring to Tom DeVore as a grifter is not name calling. It’s an accurate description of his who he is and how he’s behaving. To me the portrayal is as accurate as calling JB Pritzker a politician or billionaire. Now if you feel that what DeVore is doing isn’t grifting I would be happy to entertain and understand how you’ve come to that conclusion.


  64. - Leap Day William - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 3:16 pm:

    =It appears the gov
    Fee fees are hurt
    Hence the name calling=

    This is a terrible attempt at haiku. The syllable pattern is supposed to be 5-7-5.


  65. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 3:48 pm:

    To the Blair v Walker update. Well that settles that. Let’s see if he and his purported defamation attorney still want to file in the face of clear, controlling precedent to the contrary. Courts don’t like that.


  66. - justaguy02 - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 3:52 pm:

    “Illinois Supreme Court, Blair v. Walker, 1976…”
    A smart lawyer knows the law.
    A smart grifter doesn’t let facts get in the way of a winning con.


  67. - Juvenal - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 3:57 pm:

    Tomorrow, the Gov ought to call him a Snowflake.


  68. - Pundent - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 3:58 pm:

    =Let’s see if he and his purported defamation attorney still want to file in the face of clear, controlling precedent to the contrary.=

    Well as DeVore has reminded us, the goal is not to win. And the court that he’s most interested in is one of opinion and they measure success in terms of “likes.”


  69. - sal-says - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 4:02 pm:

    Masks help. If devore actually wanted to protect kids, he wouldn’t be filng these frivolous suits. How does he still have a law license? These have been going on WAY too long. And agree. The ag should be spending OUR tax dollars in far better ways.


  70. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 4:12 pm:

    Perhaps DeVore could add another tattoo to his body art collection. A simple message across his forehead—Pay Me.


  71. - New Day - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 5:08 pm:

    Grifter says what? I don’t know how people like Devore sleep at night.


  72. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 5:22 pm:

    === We hold that the Governor is protected from actions for civil defamation by an absolute privilege when issuing statements which are legitimately related to matters committed to his responsibility.===

    DeVore losing before it even begins is his calling card.

    It’s not a pattern, it’s a grift.


  73. - SubRosa - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 5:28 pm:

    Pritdisker better watch it.


  74. - Huh? - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 5:48 pm:

    Motion for change of venue to Sangamon County, a more central location.


  75. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 5:52 pm:

    This could be solved super easy;

    If DeVore stops taking any money, unless he wins, like an ambulance chasing personal injury attorney, then who could say it’s about the grift, DeVore would have to win.

    Of course… PI attorneys can settle cases and get paydays without stepping into court, so that wrinkle probably isn’t to DeVore’s liking or good for the bank account, so…


  76. - Original Anon - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 6:03 pm:

    Most legal activists avoid lawsuits that are certain losers, because it harms the issue they champion, both short and long term. Devore pursuing these cases is evidencd that he doesn’t actually care about this issue.


  77. - Bobby Ace - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 9:55 pm:

    Will Annette Benning play the Angelica Houston role in the remake?


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