South Elgin trustee off ballot; Gail Borden candidate stays on
By Janelle Walker For The Courier-News February 25, 2013 3:46PM
Updated: March 27, 2013 6:15AM
GENEVA — South Elgin incumbent Trustee William “Bill” DiFulvio was knocked off the April 9 ballot Monday, after Kane County Judge John Dalton determined the South Elgin Election Board had ruled incorrectly last month when it allowed his name to stay on the ballot.
In another local election case Monday, Dalton ruled that Elizabeth “Beth” Kruger can remain on the ballot for Gail Borden Public Library Board of Trustees in the same election.
Gary Hyman, a former South Elgin trustee, and resident Warren Redmond had objected to DiFulvio’s nomination packet, as well as those of other incumbent trustees.
In DiFulvio’s case, the objectors said that because the trustee did not number his two-page nomination packet as required by state law, his candidacy should be ruled invalid.
The election board — made up of Trustees Mike Kolodziej and Steve Ward, and Village Clerk Margo Gray — said that for DiFulvio’s two-page nomination packet, the chances of tampering was low and that the board should rule on the side of leaving candidates on the ballot. The board also upheld the candidacies of incumbent Village President Jim Hansen — who is running unopposed — and incumbent Trustee John Sweet.
Hyman and Redmond then appealed that decision to the Kane County courts.
Dalton agreed with the objector’s reasoning in his written opinion, saying that the Illinois Second District Appellate Court “has repeatedly held that the page numbering provisions … of the Election Code are mandatory and that a petition is invalidated if that requirement is not met.”
The numbering requirement serves to “prevent tampering, which not only preserves the integrity of the petitions submitted, but also the election process in general,” Dalton wrote, quoting from case law.
DiFulvio, when reached by phone, declined to comment on the ruling.
In the Kruger’s case, Dalton said the Elgin resident had not only filed the correct paperwork to run for office, but that the Kane County Clerk’s Office erred when it returned that paperwork to her and told her to file again.
According to the challenge document, Harold Cattron of Elgin argued that Kruger did not file a Statement of Economic Interest in a timely manner with her nomination packets.
In fact, Dalton noted, she did.
Kruger submitted her statement in the mail, and it was received by the clerk’s office on Dec. 11, according to a stamp on the document. As Kruger serves on the Elgin Planning and Zoning Commission, she filed one document for both positions.
On Dec. 15, Kruger said, she received a copy of the statement back from the clerk’s office with a “sticky note” attached, saying she had to file for the two offices separately.
She turned in her nomination packet to the library on Dec. 17, but then turned in a new, updated statement of economic interest on Dec. 28 — after the filing period closed.
Her first attempt at filing the statement was correct, Dalton said.
In 2002, Dalton said, the Illinois General Assembly “expressly allowed a candidate to file one statement of economic interest relating to all items” and that “it is unclear what legal authority, if any, the Kane County Clerk had for requesting two separate statements to be filed.”
Cattron’s attorney, noting the change in Illinois law, attempted a new route with his argument Monday, stating that the actual copy of the statement did not comply as being a “receipt” of that statement.
However, that argument was not brought up at the Jan. 9 election board meeting, Dalton said, and could not be brought into the argument now.
Voters in Elgin, meanwhile, will go to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots for the nine candidates running for the one open two-year seat on the city council.
Candidates are Tom McCarthy, Toby Shaw, Daniel Schultz, Craig Dresang, Jason Dusenberry, Michael K. DeBrocke, Roy W. Chapman III, Chindavanh Keomuongchanh and Larry Wegman.
Visit couriernewsonline.com for up date results Tuesday night.