Judge to hear arguments in Dolton campaign sign removal debate

2013-03-19T09:04:00Z 2013-03-19T18:44:03Z Judge to hear arguments in Dolton campaign sign removal debateGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 19, 2013 9:04 am  • 

DOLTON | A Cook County judge on Wednesday will hear arguments over village officials removing campaign signs they deem in violation of village code.

Judge Paul Karkula will hear a complaint in his courtroom at the Daley Center in Chicago. That complaint was filed by activists who say Village President Ronnie Lewis is having police officers remove campaign signs touting his political opponents in the April 9 municipal election.

Those activists say hundreds of campaign signs have been removed in recent days. Many of the signs were for the campaign of Valeria Stubbs, one of four people challenging Lewis for village president.

Stubbs insisted in a prepared statement that her campaign signs were in compliance with local ordinances that regulate how large political campaign lawn signs can be.

“This desperate and cowardly act further demonstrates (Lewis’) single-minded ambition contained with a streak of petty vindictiveness,” Stubbs said.

But Lewis said in his own prepared statement issued late Monday that Dolton restricts the size of lawn signs during political campaigns. Lewis contends many of the signs being removed violate that rule. He said village code enforcement officers, and not Dolton police, are removing any signs that violate the size requirement.

Those pushing for a court order to get village officials to return the lawn signs are the same group that on Saturday organized a protest outside Lewis’ house.

Lewis responded by having uniformed Dolton police officers force protesters to disperse. The group of about 50 people went away without any arrests being made.

Lewis said there will be no charges sought against any of the protesters, even though he said he thinks they were all guilty of violating village ordinances against disorderly conduct and holding a protest in a residential area.

Lewis also said he believes the protesters picked a time when they knew he was not at home.

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