A retail merchant who was running for commissioner had his name removed from the April 5 Forest Park voting ballot at a hearing Wednesday afternoon. An electoral board ruled that his candidate’s paperwork was not bound when he turned them in, which invalidated his candidacy.
A three-member board comprised of Mayor Anthony Calderone, Village Clerk Vanessa Moritz and appointed member Michael Davies found that former candidate Jon Kubricht, owner of Da Beads jewelry store in Chicago, violated election code by turning in paperwork that was in a manila envelope.
According to a state election law, the paperwork needs to be “neatly fastened together in book form by placing the sheets in a pile and fastening them together at one edge in a secure and suitable nature,” a point that was echoed by election attorney Tom Bastion.
“The folder was the binder. The book,” said Steve Laduzinsky, Kubricht’s attorney. “In essence the folder, that has a secured edge, had these [pages] all together.”
Kubricht was responding to a challenge to his candidacy that was filed last month by local woman Elsie Radtke.
Radtke’s initial challenge contained 14 objections; all but the aforementioned one were withdrawn by her attorney, Kerri-Lynn Krafthefer, or dismissed.
Outlining Radtke’s argument, Krafthefer explained that the law was in place to prevent anyone from tampering with the paperwork.
“The [Illinois] General Assembly felt that it was a significant enough requirement to include that in the election code and the courts have recognized that it was a legitimate concern,” said Krafthefer.
There was some debate over the fact that state law does not define “binding.”
“I sit here and I scratch my head, much like the Supreme Court judges who talked about pornography,” said Davies. “I can’t give you a definition for it, but I know what it is when I see it.”
“A manila envelope is not securely fastened,” he added.
On such grounds, the board voted unanimously to ban Kubricht’s name from appearing on the voting ballot in the April 5 election.
“It’s unfortunate,” Kubricht said. “I’m sure my lawyer had compelling arguments.”
“That’s Cook County politics for you,” he said.
Prior to the hearing, Laduzinsky also filed a motion seeking the removal of Moritz and Calderone from the board. The motion alleged bias due to a 2009 lawsuit between Kubricht and the village.
The three-member board denied that motion. It also voted to allow Moritz to relieve herself from participating in hearing Radtke’s challenge against Rory Hoskins, commissioner of Accounts and Finance.
His hearing was moved to Jan. 18.
This article has been updated to correct the hearing date for Rory Hoskins.