SOUTH HOLLAND | While an Appellate Court panel in Chicago decides whether Kenneth Williams can remain on the Thornton Township High School District 205 School Board, supporters of the board president with a felony criminal record are planning to come forth.
Williams on Thursday filed a motion with the First District Appellate Court asking that a stay be issued preventing enforcement of Cook County Judge Rita Novak's ruling. Novak ruled last month Williams is ineligible to serve on the School Board despite his election in 2009 and re-election in April to a four-year term.
Glenn Harston, a spokesman for the high school district, said attorneys for Williams are preparing arguments for a stay, which would mean that Williams could keep his seat on the School Board while the case is pending in court.
Officials with the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said they will offer a written response to the appellate court to be filed Friday. They then expect that court to schedule a date for oral arguments in the near future.
As of Friday, the Illinois appellate court had no oral arguments scheduled for this case in November.
Meanwhile, a group of ministers and activists are planning a news conference Monday at 4108 S. King Drive to offer their support. Harston said those people feel voters are being deprived of a public official whom they chose at the ballot box.
Williams was not available to comment.
Novak ruled on Oct. 23 that Williams’ 1985 conviction in Indiana for aiding in a forgery constitutes an “infamous crime,” which would make Williams ineligible to hold an elected office.
She rejected arguments from his attorneys that his eligibility to hold electoral office was restored when he completed his prison term. He served 22 months of a five-year sentence. Williams has not been convicted of any felony offenses since being released from prison 26 years ago and has created his own business, the Silk ‘n’ Classy barber college, 804-810 E. Sibley Blvd. in Dolton.
District 205 is accepting applications from people interested in filling the vacancy. The School Board president post would be filled by current Vice President Darren Robinson, if Williams is removed.