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Hopp, Kruger survive Elgin library candidate challenges

Randy Hopp


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Updated: February 11, 2013 7:26AM

GENEVA — Randolph L. “Randy” Hopp, the Gail Borden Public Library District trustee who has been banned from the library as a patron since shortly after the 2009 elections, will remain on the April 9 ballot for that seat.

A challenge to the candidacy of Elizabeth Kruger also failed, leaving four candidates for three open seats on the board. But a fifth candidate, Carlos Betancourt, has been thrown off the ballot.

The Kane County Electoral Board, including Stan Bond from the Kane County Clerk’s Office and Kane County Clerk of Court Tom Hartwell, ruled Wednesday that an objection to Hopp’s candidacy filed by fellow library Trustee Herb Gross was not valid and therefore would not stand.

Joe Lulves, from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office, recused himself from the discussion and vote for Hopp’s case, but did rule on the other two challenges. The state’s attorney’s office is currently prosecuting Hopp on charges he battered his elderly parents in March 2011. Hopp is awaiting trial.

While Lulves is from the civil, not the criminal, division of the state’s attorney office, it was determined there could not be any appearance of bias from that office, Lulves said.

In addition to an objection regarding Hopp, objections also had been filed to the nomination packets for candidates Carlos Betancourt and Elizabeth “Beth” Kruger, both of Elgin. According to the challenge document, Harold Cattron of Elgin — a longtime Hopp supporter who attended and recorded library board meetings for a time — argued that both candidates failed to file a Statement of Economic Interest in a timely manner with their nomination packets on Dec. 26.

Split decision

The electoral board voted to uphold the challenge for Betancourt but rejected the challenge for Kruger, allowing her to stay on the ballot.

Those economic interest forms are turned in at the Kane County Clerk’s Office, and a receipt for those forms is given to candidates to turn in with their nomination papers.

Betancourt told the three-person electoral committee that as a novice to running for office, he had missed the notice that he was to include that filing with his candidate forms. He did not file or turn in a Statement of Economic Interest until Dec. 28.

Kruger had in fact filed two Statement of Economic Interest forms — one for her position on the Elgin planning and zoning commission, and one for her Gail Borden candidacy. She had a receipt for that statement dated Dec. 18 — but had inadvertently not included it in her packet when she turned hers in at the library on Dec. 26.

Not enough info

The board ruled that Gross — who was defeated by Hopp in the 2009 elections but later appointed to the Gail Borden board to fill a vacancy — had not included all of the information needed in his objection letter, including his address and the statement that he was a registered voter in the library district.

Gross had argued that Hopp used both his nickname of “Randy” and his legal name of “Randolph Lee Hopp” on his nomination form to confuse voters.

In addition, Gross noted, Hopp has been banned from the library for harassing staff since 2009, and banned from both the Elgin Community College and Judson University libraries since that date.

Hopp — wearing a card on a lanyard stating “Randy Hopp — Gail Borden Library Trustee” during the hearing — also argued that he is known as Randy Hopp and that voters chose him and have continued to choose him since the 2009 elections.

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