Judge to decide fate of Wilson slate in Cal City elections

2013-02-01T16:20:00Z 2013-02-02T01:45:04Z Judge to decide fate of Wilson slate in Cal City electionsGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
February 01, 2013 4:20 pm  • 

CHICAGO | A judge will spend the weekend deciding the fate of candidates aligned with Calumet City mayoral hopeful Brian Wilson in the Feb. 26 primary elections.

Those candidates were removed from the ballot by the Electoral Board in Calumet City, which said their petitions were improperly certified.

But those candidates for city clerk, treasurer and seven aldermanic posts on the City Council filed a lawsuit to try to get restored, and Judge Edmund Ponce de Leon on Friday heard arguments from attorneys for the candidates, the Electoral Board and supporters of Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush who want those candidates removed.

Ponce de Leon did not render a decision Friday, saying he wound render a verdict Monday in his Daley Center courtroom.

“I’ve read all of these things, and I’m going to read them all again,” Ponce de Leon said of the documents. "There goes my weekend.”

James Nally, an attorney for the Qualkinbush supporters who want the ballot cleared of all challengers in the municipal elections, said he believes there is only one relevant issue.

He argued that Wilson’s slate did not properly inform the city and the Electoral Board of its intent to file suit. Since there is a strict 10-day time period that must be met for such notification, Nally says he believes it is now too late for any challenge to be properly filed and he says Ponce de Leon should not even take any other issues into consideration.

“If there is no jurisdiction (for Cook County courts), then there is nothing else to decide in this case,” Nally said.

However, John Jawor, an attorney for Wilson and his slate of candidates, contends that the city clerk and Qualkinbush were both served with notice.

Jawor also argued on behalf of a challenge to 1st Ward aldermanic candidate Larry Caballero, who filed an economic interest statement form designed for use for state government candidates, rather than a form designed by Cook County government for municipal candidates. Jawor said all the relevant information concerning Caballero was still provided.

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