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Objectors say council candidate can’t run because he owes the city money

Updated: January 6, 2013 9:53AM

ELGIN — The city council candidacy of a former downtown nightspot owner is being challenged by former Mayor Ed Schock and another person, claiming he can’t legally run because he owes the city more than $8,000 in overdue bills.

Schock and Elgin resident Nikki Scott filed the objections Monday afternoon to the candidacy of Anthony Nance, who once operated a restaurant and jazz club called Anthony’s at 231 Douglas Ave. where Danny’s Pizza now is in downtown Elgin.

The Elgin Liquor Control Commission voted unanimously to revoke Anthony’s license in December 2004, citing fights, shootings and other unlawful activity that had occurred in and around the club.

Nance and his wife sued the city in 2006 and eventually lost in a jury trial in the autumn of 2010. The suit contended that the city’s decision to strip them of their liquor license constituted racial discrimination.

The original lawsuit named Schock, who in his role as mayor at the time also chaired the liquor control commission; former Police Chief William Miller; and then-City Attorney Rick Kozal, who is now assistant city manager. It did not name the other liquor commissioners, who also serve as city council members. They were former Councilman John Walters and current council member Robert Gilliam.

Both Schock and Scott in their objections alleged that Nance, by law, cannot run since he is in arrears to Elgin for almost $8,400, plus any interest that might be due, stemming from losing the lawsuit.

“My interest in this matter is to see that the election laws are upheld and only properly qualified candidates appear on the ballot,” Schock states on his paperwork.

According to documents filed with Schock’s objection, $382.91 of what’s alleged to be owed appear to be for the cost of printing documents related to the case. Another $8,009.01 is for 18 depositions — nine taken by the plaintiffs and nine taken by the defendants.

Among the plaintiff’s depositions are those from Schock, Gilliam, Walters, Miller, then-city manager Femi Folarin, and Kozal.

City Clerk Kim Dewis said a hearing on the objections before the city’s electoral board tentatively has been set for 10 a.m. Friday at city hall. The panel consists of Mayor Dave Kaptain; Councilman John Steffen, who is the senior-most council member not up for re-election this cycle; and Dewis.

Nance could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

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