A panel of three officials from Proviso Township School District 209 pre-emptively ruled against objections to the ballot petitions of three candidates running for board seats, during a hearing at Proviso Math and Science Academy Monday night.
Current board member and candidate Theresa Kelly accused candidates Eddie Anguiano, Redith Ester and Francine Harrell of transgressions ranging from forgery to inadequate signatures. What’s more, several of the allegations and the premises of her arguments made little or no legal sense, according to the panel and the defendants’ counsel.
Kelly said all three candidates had exceeded the “maximum” number of signatures on their petitions, even though there is no limit.
Attorney Richard Means said it was all a moot point since Kelly didn’t file enough signature objections to reduce the number beneath the legal limit of 50.
Eighty-seven of Anguiano’s signatures remained uncontested, 52 of Ester’s did not come into question, and 57 of Harrell’s had no formal objections.
“There were too many bad ones [signatures]; we said we should just get a binder check,” said Kelly, in reference to an examination of the signatures that election officials perform.
Means complained that many of Kelly’s complaints and supplemental legal references were “jibberish.”
“She’s throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks,” he told the panel. “The candidate must understand the nature of the objection in order … to respond.”
The evening was something of a sparring match between Kelly and Chairman and board President Chris Welch, whom Kelly called “unethical” and accused him of bullying her.
Kelly said he shouldn’t preside over the case because he circulated petitions for Ester. Welch acknowledged this and abstained from voting on the objections against Ester.
“I believe this was a bad-faith plea,” Welch said. “An attempt to stifle the voters.”
Based on Kelly’s arguments, the board said her objections were not legitimate.
The board, which consisted of Welch, Vice President David Cross and Secretary Brian Cross, plans to issue a written ruling next week.
Eight candidates will compete for three seats on the district board in the April 5 election. The other four candidates include Robin Foreman, Frank Montgomery, Carlos Anderson and Meghan Sawa.