On Monday afternoon, a three-person panel voted to remove one candidate’s name from the ballot in the spring election, and postponed until next week the hearings for challenges to two others.
Connie Custardo, a part-time bus driver who was running for Forest Park commissioner, was booted from the ballot Monday due to flawed petitions.
Mayor Anthony Calderone, Village Clerk Vanessa Moritz and appointed member Michael Davies comprised the board that voted to remove Custardo.
Davies was appointed to the board by Tim Evans, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, in place of Commissioner Mark Hosty. Hosty could not sit on the board because he is up for reelection.
In addition to other transgressions, Custardo failed to bind her paperwork, explicitly state the office she was running for and number the signatures she collected, the board found.
Elsie Radtke, a local woman and the mother of candidate Tom Mannix, challenged Custardo’s candidacy last week, the Forest Park Review reported.
“Any of these issues alone would be enough to invalidate her [Custardo’s] petitions,” said Keri-Lyn J. Krafthefer, Radtke’s attorney.
Cuistardo said she “respected” the decision of the board, but added that her mistakes were “peripheral” and that Radtke’s claims “bordered on ridiculous.”
“These are things you hate to see stop a candidacy,” Custardo told the board.
Before voting in favor of her removal, Davies said that Custardo “made no attempt to limit the confusion” of election officials by handing in such unorganized paperwork.
Radtke is also challenging the ballot petitions of incumbent Commissioner Rory Hoskins and small business owner Jon Kubricht. None of them attended the hearing.
Due to a request by lawyers for Kubricht and Radtke, their hearings have been postponed to Jan. 12.
Radtke has accused Hoskins and Kubricht of fraud and cited similar errors in their paperwork, which she argues should disqualify them.
Both are running for commissioner in the general election on April 5.