Billionaire Governor of Illinois J.B. Pritzker dodged a question about the whereabouts of his wife during a press conference Wednesday after it was reported she had left the state to ride out the stay-at-home from their $12.1million Florida equine estate.
Gov. Pritzker refused to answer the question stating his family should not not be brought into politics, slamming the story as 'reprehensible' despite his wife M.K. Pritzker having an office in the Illinois Capitol and a full-time staffer.
In contrast, answering the question immediately after about businesses in the state disobeying the stay-at-home order, Pritzker warned that there were many ways they could be punished for reopening too soon.
The report that the first lady had left the state came after the governor extended 'All Illinois' stay-at-home order through May 30 and faced several legal challenges for doing so. The stay-at-home order is the second longest in America.
The governor is a member of the Pritzker family who own the Hyatt hotel chain.
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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker with his wife M.K. and their two children. The governor refused to answer a question Wednesday about whether his wife has gone to Florida despite the stay-at-home order he has now extended in the state until May 30. He called the story 'reprehensible'
Illinois' first lady is reported to have traveled to this $12.1million Florida estate the family owns
Gov. Pritzker was asked a direct question about the whereabouts of his wife Wednesday by Patch reporter Mark Konkol who had first reported that she may have left the state to go to one of their second homes.
'What is your response to people who say the stay-at-home order and non-essential travels bans aren't abided by your family?' Konkol asked.
'The first thing I'd like to say is that in politics it used to be that we kept our families out of it,' said Pritzker.
'My official duties have nothing to do with my family. So, I'm not going to answer that question. It's inappropriate and I find it reprehensible, honestly that that a reporter wrote a story about it.'
In a follow-up question about parties being held and small businesses opening up in defiance of the order, Gov. Pritzker warned that there were penalties that could be used to ensure that didn't happen.
'We have enforcement methods that can be used. Their permits can be taken away, the state can take action, local government can take action,' he said, urging them to stay closed for the safety of themselves and their patrons.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaking during a press conference Wednesday in which he refused to answer a question about whether his wife had traveled to Florida despite restrictions
This equine estate in Florida is just one of the properties the Hyatt hotel heir owns
Illinois first lady M.K. Pritzker announced earlier in April that she