Library candidate challenges could guarantee re-election for Hopp
By Janelle Walker For The Courier-News January 4, 2013 6:38PM
Randy Hopp EL11_HOPP.JPG
Updated: February 7, 2013 6:39AM
ELGIN — Petitions for three of the candidates running for the Gail Borden Public Library District trustee race have been challenged.
With just five candidates in total for three open seats, if two of those challenges are successful, Randolph L. Hopp — a current library trustee who is not allowed inside the library, is banned from two other local libraries and who is facing felony domestic battery charges in Kane County — would almost certainly be re-elected to the board, officials said.
Hopp’s candidacy, however, also was challenged Friday.
A hearing on those challenges is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Kane County Clerk’s Office in Geneva.
Hal Cattron, of Elgin, filed challenges to the nomination papers for Carlos Betancourt and Elizabeth Kruger, both of Elgin. According to the challenge document, Cattron argues that both candidates failed to file a Statement of Economic Interest in a timely manner with their nomination packets on Dec. 26.
He also claims that as Betancourt did not number each of his petition pages, only those pages with numbers should be counted — leaving Betancourt with just 20 signatures, far less than the 50 required by statute.
Current Gail Borden Trustee Herb Gross filed a challenge to the nomination papers for Hopp — another current Gail Borden trustee, who was banned from the library as a patron for three consecutive years, and whose recent request to be allowed back in was denied by the board.
Hopp, 62, of Elgin, faces felony charges of aggravated battery to a person over the age of 60, upgraded in December 2011 from domestic battery charges. Those charges stem from a March 2011 incident at his Elgin home, in which he is accused of assaulting his parents.
Since those charges were filed, Hopp’s father, LeRoy K. Hopp, passed away. Hopp’s next Kane County court date on those charges is set for Jan. 16.
According to Gross, and upon inspection of those nomination petitions, Hopp used his nickname of “Randy” Hopp at the top of the petition forms. At the bottom of the form, however, Hopp used his full legal name of “Randolph Lee Hopp.”
“The use of his nickname ‘Randy’ rather than the name he was charged (under) ‘Randolph Lee’ is an attempt to distance himself from these charges and lead voters to think he is not the person banned from these three local libraries and also charged with felonies,” according to Gross’s objection filing.
Hopp was banned from the Judson University and Elgin Community College libraries in 2011.
Gail Borden officials said they believed the electoral board hearing the objections would include Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham, Circuit Court Clerk Thomas Hartwell and Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon.
Officials did not immediately return phone calls inquiring whether McMahon would have to recuse himself from the board, as the state’s attorney’s office is currently prosecuting Hopp.