SOUTH HOLLAND | The president of Thornton Township High School District 205’s School Board said Monday he will “do everything in my power” to remain in office.
Kenneth Williams, serving a four-year term on the School Board that expires April 30, wants to run for re-election. But the Electoral Board consisting of attorneys appointed by Cook County Judge Edmund Ponce de Leon voted last week to remove him from the April 9 election ballot.
Burt Odelson, an election law expert who headed the District 205 Electoral Board, said officials concluded Williams’ nominating petitions were flawed because the sheets containing signatures of support were not bound in any way.
“He submitted loose sheets of paper,” Odelson said, explaining election law requires the petitions to be bound in some form, usually with paper clips rather than staples.
The Electoral Board also considered a challenge to Williams’ ballot spot based on the fact he has a felony conviction for forgery for an incident in 1985 in Indiana for which he served a little more than two years in prison.
But Odelson said the board ultimately did not rule on that issue, as the binding of the petitions was sufficient to justify their removing him from the ballot.
Electoral Board members signed the order taking Williams off the ballot on Friday, and election law says Williams has five working days in which to file an appeal in Cook County Circuit Court.
Williams had not taken such action as of Monday.
“I’m going to do everything in my power to stay on the ballot,” he said.
He would not specify when he would file a lawsuit.
He also declined to comment further on the complaint already filed against him last month by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office that says he is ineligible to hold an elective office on a school board because of his criminal record.
Williams has said he will oppose that attempt to remove him from the post and he has until mid-February in which to act. On Monday, officials with the state’s attorney’s office said they had heard nothing from Williams, and that no actions had been taken against him in the pending court order that seeks his removal from the School Board by force.
Odelson said he believes it is likely that when the state’s attorney does act against Williams, it will be the definitive action.
“They may decide the whole thing,” he said.