The name of another person running for commissioner was removed from the ballot last week after a three-member electoral board ruled his paperwork was not securely fastened.
The three-member board, comprising Mayor Anthony Calderone, Village Clerk Vanessa Moritz and appointed member Michael Davies, found that Jon Kubricht, owner of Da Beads jewelry store in Chicago, violated the election code by turning in paperwork in a manila envelope.
According to state election law, 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 echoed by the village’s 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.”
Laduzinsky was defending a challenge to Kubricht’s candidacy 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Radtke’s initial challenge contained 14 objections; all but the aforementioned one were withdrawn by her attorney, Kerri-Lynn Krafthefer, or dismissed by the board.
In an attempt to discredit his client’s objector, Laduzinsky told the board that “the number if objections withdrawn speaks loudly.”
Outlining Radtke’s argument, Krafthefer explained that the binding law was in place to prevent anyone from tampering with the paperwork.
“The [Illinois] General Assembly felt it was a significant enough requirement to include 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 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 added.
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 filed by Kubricht against the village.
Kubricht sued the village, accusing it of illegally denying requests for records filed under the Freedom of Information Act. In that case, a judge ruled in the village’s favor.
“It’s very difficult to imagine … that you would not forget a lawsuit filed by a citizen or take offense to a lawsuit being filed by a citizen,” Laduzinsky told Moritz and Calderone. “Based on that, the fundamental due process of fairness requires you and the village clerk to recuse yourselves from this matter.”
“With regards to this issue of bias, I don’t know if I could pick out Mr. Kubricht in a crowd of one,” Calderone countered.
Laduzinsky’s motion was denied when Calderone, Moritz and Davies voted unanimously to allow the mayor and the clerk to preside over the challenge.
The board also voted in favor of Moritz’s motion to recuse herself from a hearing on Jan. 18.
Tim Evans, chief judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, appointed attorney Mark Chester to replace Moritz.
The hearing addressed a challenge to incumbent Commissioner Rory Hoskins, one that was also filed by Radtke. A ruling on the case was not available at press time.
There were 13 candidates for village council going into that hearing. Two people running for commissioner were removed by rulings of this board, and Gwen Crayton, another candidate, was eliminated from the race without a hearing because she failed to submit two vital documents.
For coverage on the Hoskins ruling visit www.forestparkreview.com