Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** DuPage Chair Conroy drops censure threat after Sheriff Mendrick backs down
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*** UPDATED x1 *** DuPage Chair Conroy drops censure threat after Sheriff Mendrick backs down

Monday, Jan 30, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release

Monday, January 30, 2023

Joint Statement on DuPage County Public Safety

Statement attributable to DuPage County Board Chair Deborah Conroy, DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, and DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin:

“DuPage County Board Chair Deborah Conroy, Sheriff James Mendrick, and State’s Attorney Robert Berlin engaged in a meaningful conversation during which they discussed their shared commitment to the safety of DuPage County residents. The conversation also included discussion of Illinois’ new assault weapons ban, known as the Protect Illinois Communities Act. Enforcement of this law does not demand that deputies go door to door seeking to remove weapons from those licensed to own them. With this understanding, Sheriff Mendrick is committed to enforcing all state and local laws. Chair Conroy is committed to supporting the Sheriff’s Office in maintaining safe communities within DuPage County and sees no reason to pursue a censure resolution at this time. All parties look forward to positive, productive collaboration on important initiatives that will keep DuPage residents safe and ensure the security of our communities moving forward.”

…Adding… Daily Herald

While the DuPage County Board posted the joint statement on social media Monday afternoon, Mendrick had not yet shared the statement on the sheriff’s social media page as of 3:30 p.m. Monday. Mendrick’s original Jan. 13 statement also remained posted on the DuPage County sheriff’s Facebook page.

County board member Liz Chaplin, a Downers Grove Democrat, said the joint statement was “a good start” but expressed some reservation.

“When I see the sheriff post on social media, I will feel much better about this,” she said. “He has unnecessarily caused a lot of confusion, fear and anger. He needs to publicly set the record straight that he will enforce the law and all laws.”

As of 5 o’clock, it’s still not there.

* Meanwhile, from the Conversation

A gun control law signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois in January 2023 immediately faced opposition from a group key to the law’s enforcement: sheriffs. They are county-level, locally elected public officials who run jails, provide courthouse security, and, in many counties, are the primary providers of law enforcement services.

In Illinois, and around the nation, some sheriffs also view themselves as the ultimate defenders of the U.S. Constitution and its rights – even though there’s no law and no history giving them that position. […]

In our research surveying sheriffs, in 2012 and again in 2021, we have found that sheriffs are far more likely to support looser gun laws than the public at large. And we have also found that that perspective is linked to some sheriffs’ views that they are the highest level of defenders of the U.S. Constitution and Americans’ constitutional rights.

From that poll

Gun laws should be MORE strict than they are today

    19% (Sheriffs)
    53% (Americans in general)

Gun laws should be LESS strict than they are today

    75% (Sheriffs)
    14% (Americans in general)

Current gun laws are about right / No answer / unsure

    6% (Sheriffs)
    32% (Americans in general)

* Back to the story

We traced sheriffs’ views of themselves as ultimate protectors of the Constitution to the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, a political organization founded in 2009 by Richard Mack, a former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona. […]

Mack and his organization have spent more than a decade actively recruiting and training sheriffs to believe that their office is more powerful than the president, and that they can reject laws they believe to be unconstitutional. Mack told NPR in 2019 that sheriffs “have the responsibility to interpose – it’s the ‘doctrine of interposition’ – whenever anybody is trying to diminish or violate the individual rights of our counties.”

Counties have individual rights?

* Interposition

In Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1 (1958), the Supreme Court of the United States rejected interposition explicitly. The Supreme Court and the lower federal courts have consistently held that the power to declare federal laws unconstitutional lies with the federal judiciary, not with the states. The courts have held that interposition is not a valid constitutional doctrine when invoked to block enforcement of federal law.

* In other news, the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association is awarding more than $58,000 in college scholarships throughout the state. Individual sheriffs are offering $500 scholarships. For instance

La Salle County Sheriff Adam Diss will award one $500 scholarship. There will be no restriction on any applicant by reason of race, age, creed, color, sex or national origin. The only limitations are as follows:

    Applicants must be permanent Illinois residents
    Scholarships must be utilized at institutions of higher learning within the state of Illinois
    Students must be enrolled as a full-time student during the 2023-24 school year (excluding summer session).

Not mentioned is this essay question

What are your thoughts about the elimination of cash bail in Illinois? Do you think this is a good policy decision? What are the effects? Please explain your rationale for position.

*** UPDATE *** US Rep. Casten…

U.S. Congressman Sean Casten (IL-06) released the following statement regarding the joint statement from DuPage County Board Chair Deb Conroy, Sheriff James Mendrick, and States Attorney Robert Berlin on public safety in DuPage County:

“Public trust in our institutions depends, in part, on the principle that laws, once passed, will apply equally to all. I’m grateful and relieved to hear that Sheriff Mendrick understands this and is committed to fairly and impartially enforcing the laws of Illinois.

“The Protect Illinois Communities Act is an important law passed by our state legislature to prevent future tragedies like the shooting in Highland Park. I would like to thank Chair Deb Conroy for her leadership in DuPage County, as well as all those who stood with me on January 23rd in steadfast commitment to keeping our communities safe.”

On January 19th, Representatives Sean Casten, Delia Ramirez (IL-03), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), and Bill Foster (IL-11) sent a letter to DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick expressing concern over his January 13th statement that he will not enforce the Protect Illinois Communities Act. Rep. Casten then held a press conference on January 23rd to reiterate the importance of enforcing the laws of Illinois.

* Related…


  1. - Shytown - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:39 pm:

    Oh snap. The NRA’s poster child jumped ship.

  2. - CornAl DoGooder - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:44 pm:

    Ah yes, a college student’s position on cash bail in Illinois is of course what you need to know before you decide whether to help them get an education. Makes so much sense! It is such a determining factor for financial need and potential academic achievement. Glad the Sheriff’s Association is using their money wisely.

  3. - Norseman - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:46 pm:

    Feeling less protected by today’s law enforcement officers.

  4. - Nick - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:56 pm:

    ===Mack and his organization have spent more than a decade actively recruiting and training sheriffs to believe that their office is more powerful than the president===

    Wanna-be petty dictators should not wield law-enforcement power

  5. - Lincoln Lad - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 3:57 pm:

    Somebody please tell me that Mendrick isn’t posturing that he believed the law called for his deputies to go door to door to confiscate licensed firearms. Tell me that clearly ridiculous assertion isn’t something he is now claiming as a reason for his public statements. Please tell that’s not so. I live in DuPage and want to believe we are light years better than that…

  6. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:00 pm:

    ===Tell me that clearly ridiculous assertion===

    I can’t.

  7. - Amalia - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:01 pm:

    so many counties in Illinois, so many sheriffs. land does not vote. but we have so many of these so called law enforcement officers. they make the case for consolidation so we can actually really know about who is out there not willing to enforce the laws of the state.

  8. - H-W - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:01 pm:

    == Not mentioned is this essay question… What are your thoughts about the elimination of cash bail in Illinois? Do you think this is a good policy decision? What are the effects? Please explain your rationale for position. ==

    Grooming. Say what I want to hear, and you too may be eligible to stand in line hoping for $500.

    Like I have said previously, the ISA is problematic. It advocates sheriffs “interpose” themselves between the law and the lawless. It advocates illegal practices by sheriffs. It advocates abuse of powers, and abuse of discretion.

    The ISA is just like the yahoo militias running around Illinois. It is not ironic that a decade ago, militia members were managed by sheriffs. Today, the sheriff are interposing themselves between the will of these secretive militia groups, and the community.

  9. - Lincoln Lad - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:09 pm:

    So the guy going on TV and radio promoting his stance as a constitutional expert, couldn’t read the public act and understand it well enough to think he was being forced to go door to door confiscating legally licensed weapons (nothing close to that is in the law). Of course, he also was denying inmate addicts prescribed drugs to fight addiction until a court got involved. In that case he always intended to give them what they needed… he just didn’t until someone went to court. But he would have… eventually.

  10. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:26 pm:

    Mack is affiliated with the insurrectionist militia group known as Oath Keepers…for the record.

  11. - West Sider - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:29 pm:

    Mendrick and Berlin are the only Republican public officials left in DuPage County (that’s were now). For the GOP, DuPage was more reliable than Orange County. No more.

  12. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:37 pm:

    ==and refuse to cower before political bullies==

    That’s pretty rich coming from the NRA. Those groups are the definition of what a bully looks like.

  13. - JS Mill - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:38 pm:

    The whole “constitutional sheriff” stuff is just completely wacko.

    Great cite of the 1958 case on the matter of interposition, the issue is a complete contrivance by folks who do not like the federal government or anyone that disagrees with them. There is not one single mention of “sheriffs” in the USSC. I have also been rereading the Federalist papers and cannot find anything their either.

    But, repeat a lie enough time, especially if it is a bias confirmation, and people will (want to) believe it.

  14. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:39 pm:

    ==Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association==

    It’s ironic that a group that refers to themselves as “Constitutional” want to throw out the Constitution and make themselves the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government all in one.

  15. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:43 pm:

    I’m amusingly reminded of why Hunter S. Thompson ran for Sheriff. Suddenly, the claims to constitutional power all vanish and become just ‘hyperbole’ when these same sheriffs are presented with the possibility of someone other than them holding the same office and powers.

  16. - DHS Drone - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:50 pm:

    Again, someone really needs to learn their history. There was a whole war fought over the theory of the states’ right to interposition. It did not go well for certain states. Interesting that legacies of the Confederacy are alive and well in a national organization of sheriffs.

  17. - Teacher Lady - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:51 pm:

    ==With this understanding, Sheriff Mendrick is committed to enforcing all state and local laws.==
    Shoot (off your mouth) first, ask questions later?

  18. - very old soil - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:51 pm:

    Do dues to the sheriff’s association come from the sheriff’s personal funds or taxpayer dollars?

  19. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:54 pm:

    ===ask questions later?===

    Appears so.

  20. - Stormsw7706 - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 4:56 pm:

    What really happened is grownups talked to Mendrick and reminded him that he is a grownup and not a 5 year old. He should gather facts and think before he speaks. He should also demonstrate a modicum of self control whereby he may have to enforce a law he doesn’t like……….because it’s the law. You know those conversations we have with our children……as they grow up

  21. - workingfromhome - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 5:04 pm:

    His release is still posted on the office’s FB page-

  22. - Protocol Droid - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 5:10 pm:

    Berlin to Mendrick:

    You think you’re going to use my re-election cycle to single-handedly define DuPage Republicans as the party of lawlessly flouting gun control measures that are overwhelmingly popular among suburban voters?

    No go, bud. Shut it down.

  23. - Big Dipper - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 5:52 pm:

    ==Shoot (off your mouth) first, ask questions later? ==

    Sounds like the Winnebago County State’s Attorney re the SAFE-T Act. These Chicken Littles sure like to cluck that the sky is falling.

  24. - DuPage Dad - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 8:01 pm:

    Why does DuPage County need a Sheriff when its 90% incorporated? The guy runs a jail and hands out tickets in the backwaters. Get rid.

  25. - Big Dipper - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 8:17 pm:

    There is very little unincorporated area in Cook as well. But in addition to the jail and patrol the sheriffs provide security at courthouses.

  26. - Lincoln Lad - Monday, Jan 30, 23 @ 9:54 pm:

    -DuPage Dad
    Mendrick has proven we don’t need a sheriff in DuPage… he hasn’t been one. He’s been an embarrassment and a liability… nothing more.

  27. - Ex DuPage. Mayor - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 8:30 am:

    Has the Sheriff taken down his original post and put the joint release up?

  28. - MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 8:47 am:

    “Why does DuPage County need a Sheriff when its 90% incorporated? The guy runs a jail and hands out tickets in the backwaters.”

    Plus and evicting tenants.

    – MrJM

  29. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 12:00 pm:

    The Sheriff posted……”don’t listen to the media”.

  30. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 6:29 pm:

    Sheriffs make their living off of the people’s taxes.

  31. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Jan 31, 23 @ 6:31 pm:

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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