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Education and Schools / Re: A fantastic success story from Morton West
« Last post by MRS. NORTHSIDER on January 15, 2015, 07:10:44 PM »
Congratulations to Olivia!  There is a link on the Morton West website to an article about Olivia and the Posse Scholarship.  I am always amazed by the great kids (most that go unnoticed) in our school district.  Another example that there are indeed great kids and wonderful success stories from District 201. 
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Here is a summary of the hearings today against the candidacies of Jill Alexander, Shelley Picha and Catie Sullivan on the Tomschin objections. The hearing was to hear arguments on a Motion to Strike by the candidates' attorney.


Tomschin had two objections to the petitions of Alexander, Picha and Sullivan.  First, the Statement of Economic Interest did not have an address on it. This is the same objection made to the candidacy of Elizabeth Jimenez in the District 100 school board race.  Second, that the candidates did not identify on the Statement of Candidacy on whether they were running for the two year seat or the four year seat. Tom Tomschin is a Cicero Town employee who currently sits on the Cicero District 99 School Board.  His wife is running for the two year for Morton District 201.
 
The hearing officer was Mary Meehan. James Nally represented Tomschin. Brendan Schiller represented Alexander, Picha and Sullivan.

 On the issue of having no address on the Statement of Economic Interest statement, the same arguments (both for and against) were made in this case as was made in the Amaro objection to Elizabeth Jimenez.   The Statement of Economic Interest form on the Cook County Clerk website does not contain a line for the address even though state law requires an address be specified on the form.

 Nally argued (as Erdman argued in the Amaro objection) that state law requires an address on the Statement of Economic Interest; that no address was on the Statement of Economic Interest documents submitted by the candidates; that since no address was on the document, the document was not properly "received" by the Cook County Clerk. Nally argued that there was not "substantial compliance" with state law because the address was missing.

Nally also argued that it is up to the candidates to consult a lawyer to ensure the documents they submit to the clerk are lawful. Nally stated that candidates should not rely on the Cook County clerk site for legal advice. Nally stated he was able to obtain Statement of Economic Interest documents which had an address on it.


Schiller argued that there was substantial compliance with the Statement of Economic Interest; Schiller argued that the documents submitted did have addresses on them on certain lines when answering questions (to which Nally replied that those addresses were business addresses such as Argo High School, not the mailing address required by law); that case law on this matter indicates that an incorrectly filled out Statement of Economic Interest does not warrant removal from the ballot and that the Cook County Clerk was the "Public Authority" that should be relied on to provide the correct form.

 Schiller also responded to Nally's assertion that his clients were able to file correct documents  and that his clients had consulted attorneys before submisstion by responding that not all people can afford to hire a lawyer to review their documents before submission and that candidates should be able to rely on the Cook County Clerk.

 
  The hearing officer, Meehan, questioned Nally on his assertion that the candidates should be removed from the ballot.  She had the text of the law in front of her when she was questioning Nally and she asked the same question to Nally over and over again - "Why is lack of address a fatal flaw?"  She said she was looking at the text of the law and she did not see where it would indicate lack of an address was a "fatal flaw" in that text. Nally responded that, because there was no address, there was "no receipt" by the Cook County Clerk (since a receipt would require a name, an address and the office being sought) and lack of the address meant the Cook County Clerk was not in "receipt" of the document.  Nally stated that if there were two people with the same name running for the same office, the clerk would not be able to tie the Statement of Economic Interest to one or the other candidate because there was no address.  Nally also stated the Statement of Economic Interest can be filed separately from the Statement of Candidacy so the address on the Statement of Candidacy cannot be relied upon.

  The hearing officer, Meehan, then kept asking over and over again - "Why is that a fatal flaw?" and kept saying over and over again "I don't see this in the text of the law".


  The second issue was that the candidates did not indicate in the office sought on their Statement of Candidacy on whether they were running for the 4 year seat or the 2-year seat.

  Nally stated that if there were only 4 year seats up for election, then there would be no confusion under the law.  Nally further stated that this year in District 201, there is both a two year seat up for election as well as 4-year seats and therefore there could be confusion amongst the voters as to whether candidates are running for the 4-year seat or the 2-year seat.  Nally acknowledged that the petitions themselves stated whether the candidate was running for the 4 year seat or 2 year seat, but Nally contended that that was the signers of the petition saying what office they want the candidate to seek. The candidate himself or herself has to specify what seat they want on the Statement of Candidacy.  Nally also acknowledged that Sullivan had circled that she was seeking a full term seat but argued that the 3 candidates had to specify 2 year seat or 4 year seat in the verbage of the office sought on the Statement of Candidacy.

  Schiller argued that there could not be any confusion amongst the voters as to whether the candidates were seeking the 2-year seat or the 4-year seat because that was specified in the text of the petitions that were signed by voters.

  Meehan ended the hearing by stating she would take the arguments under consideration and send her report to both lawyers.
 
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 Here is an update on the Benda objections to the candidacies of Jill Alexander and Shelley Picha. The hearings were this morning starting at 10:30 and just concluded.  Mary Meehan was the hearing officer. Adam Lasker represented the objector, Michal Benda.  Abby Bakos represented the candidates - Jill Alexander and Shelley Picha.

  In his objections, Benda had accused Jill Alexander of perjury.  Benda also claimed bad signatures, incorrectly noratized statements and pages that were not circulated by the person who was identified as the circulator.

  Benda's attorney withdrew his objections to Jill Alexander.

  Benda's attorney asked for more time to investigate their objections to Shelley Picha. Benda's attorney is claiming that 11 sheets are incorrect due to a false notarization or a falsification by the circulator.

  Picha's attorney characterized the request as being on a  "fishing expedition" and that the evidence should have already been in the objection.  Benda's attorney stated that the objection required only a "lax pleading level" and that it was allowed to continue investigating.

  The hearing officer Meehan denied the Picha motion to strike.  Benda's attorney is going to subpoena two circulators and one notary. He may also subpoena people who were alleged to have signed the petition.

  Request for subpoenae is due by January 19. Objection to subpoenae is due January 20. Reply to objection is due January 21. Subpoenae will be issued after that.

  Hearing date for questioning subpoenaed witnesses will be on Tuesday, January 27 at 9:30 AM.

  One other interesting fact - this is the first request for subpoenae from any of the objections filed with the Cook County Clerk and this will be the first hearing of this type under the new law where the Cook County Clerk handles school board elections.
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Political Discussion / Re: Catch-22
« Last post by watcher on January 15, 2015, 09:09:52 AM »
And attorney's get more business.

  That's the really sad part - Rita and Elizabeth had to go out and hire lawyers and spend their own money on the lawyers to defend this crap.

Why? it's almost as though lawyers crafted their own means of production... Thank you for playing....
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Real Estate Room / Is a 60 day non-reneweal of Lease for rental sufficient?
« Last post by viktor on January 15, 2015, 09:03:36 AM »
Is a 60 day non-reneweal of Lease for rental sufficient?
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Political Discussion / Re: Catch-22
« Last post by Ted on January 14, 2015, 09:00:18 PM »
And attorney's get more business.

  That's the really sad part - Rita and Elizabeth had to go out and hire lawyers and spend their own money on the lawyers to defend this crap.
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Political Discussion / Re: Catch-22
« Last post by OakParkSpartan on January 14, 2015, 02:15:44 PM »
And attorney's get more business.
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Political Discussion / Re: DelGaldo and D100 petition challenge
« Last post by MRS. NORTHSIDER on January 13, 2015, 11:20:34 PM »
  Ted your report is hysterical!! The County Clerks web site lists a form that does not meet state law. Candidates don't know how to properly fill out forms, and a lawyer puts a wrong case number on his paperwork. Hmmm, and its all over who will run an education district? Maybe the judge should throw them all off the ballot and out of his court and recommend the students run the place. They might be better at following directions and doing homework than the people who want to be in charge of their education.
Is this actually you, Mustang, calling the kettle black?  Considering your views on Morton School District 201 and support thereof, I am surprised to hear such hypocrisy.
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Political Discussion / Re: DelGaldo and D100 petition challenge
« Last post by mustang54 on January 13, 2015, 08:20:30 PM »
  Ted your report is hysterical!! The County Clerks web site lists a form that does not meet state law. Candidates don't know how to properly fill out forms, and a lawyer puts a wrong case number on his paperwork. Hmmm, and its all over who will run an education district? Maybe the judge should throw them all off the ballot and out of his court and recommend the students run the place. They might be better at following directions and doing homework than the people who want to be in charge of their education.
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Political Discussion / DelGaldo and D100 petition challenge
« Last post by Ted on January 13, 2015, 07:00:15 PM »
 This is a summary of the hearing on the objections by Frank Amaro to the candidacy of Elizabeth Jimenez in the District 100 school board race. During the hearing, the hearing officer characterized Amaro's attorney's arguments as "meta-physical".

The presiding hearing officer was Terence Flynn. Attorney for Jimenez was Mallory Milluizy. Attorney for Amaro was Scott Erdman.

Amaro objected to the candidacy on 2 grounds - that the office on the Statement of Economic Interest stated "School District 100" rather than "South Berwyn School District 100" and that the Statement of Economic Interest did not have the candidate's address on it.

The hearing started by the hearing officer Flynn pointing out to Amaro's attorney that the attorney had put the wrong case number on his brief. Flynn allowed Amaro's attorney to continue even though Amaro's attorney had the wrong case number on his brief and filing. I guess school board candidates can get thrown off the ballot for technicalities but an objection cannot get thrown out for this type of technicality (wrong case number).


 The Jimenez attorney Milluizy then started the arguments by stating that the office was sufficiently identified by "School District 100". The judge asked Amaro's attorney Erdman if there was more than one District 100 in Cook County and Erdman admitted there was only one school district 100 in Cook County.

On the issue of address, Milluizy pointed out that the form on the Cook County website does not contain a line for an address. The judge asked Erdman if he concurred that the form on the Cook County website did not contain a line for an address and Erdman agreed that the form did not contain a line for an address.

Erdman argued that that was irrelevant. Erdman stated that state law requires an address on the Statement of Economic Interest in order for the Statement of Economic Interest to be "substantially compliant" and that the Cook County Clerk posting an incomplete/incorrect form does not remove the burden of the candidate to comply with the law. Erdman stated that state law required the candidate's address and that it was up to the candidate to know what the state law was and comply with that law.

Milluizy argued that the candidate was compliant with election law because the main purpose of the Statement of Economic Interest was to identify economic associations and that the candidate complied with the law in that regard. Lack of an address did not negate the essential purpose or compliance with stating economic associations with government units. Erdman's response was essentially that the law is the law - the law required an address be specified and that no address was specified on the form that was filed.

Finally, Milluizy argued that even if the hearing officer found lack of compliance with the Statement of Economic Interest, that the remedy was not to remove the candidate from the ballot. She quoted case law that supported her position that removal from the ballot was not warranted even if the Statement of Economic Interest was not completely compliant.

Erdman responded that the lack of an address on the Statement of Economic Interest meant that no Statement of Economic Interest was filed and since no Statement of Economic Interest was filed, it warranted removal from the ballot. Milluizy responded that the candidate received a time stamped receipt from the Cook County Clerk's office that the candidate had filed a Statement of Economic Interest.

The hearing officer pointedly questioned Erdman on this argument. He asked whether any filed document was "not filed" if some part was incorrectly filled out. Erdman replied no. Erdman gave an example of where if there was a street address but no zip code, then the document would be considered "filed" but not having an address at all meant the document was "not filed".

Flynn, the hearing officer, characterized Erdman's argument as "meta-physical".

 The hearing ended with the hearing officer Flynn stating he would email his report to each lawyer. No future hearing date was set and no verdict was made. The outcome is listed on the Cook County Clerk website as pending.
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