Sauk Village electoral boards reject challenges, keep incumbents on the ballot

2013-01-23T22:09:00Z Sauk Village electoral boards reject challenges, keep incumbents on the ballotGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 23, 2013 10:09 pm  • 

SAUK VILLAGE | Acting Village President David Hanks, Village Clerk Debbie Williams and Village Trustee Rosie Williams had challenges to their spots on the ballot in the April 9 municipal elections rejected Wednesday.

The three are running as political independents, and opposing forces tried to have them removed from the ballot for various reasons.

But the electoral board met for more than an hour Wednesday, during which time it rejected the objections.

All three were being challenged by Derrick Thompson, who also had tried challenging the candidacies of the People's Unity Party — a slate consisting of village president hopeful Derrick Burgess and his supporters for clerk and village trustee posts.

The electoral board — consisting at various points of Hanks, Burgess and both Williamses — rejected all the challenges on similar grounds, including a claim that Thompson has no legal standing to challenge a Sauk Village municipal candidate because he does not live in Sauk Village.

Officials claim that when a police officer tried to serve Thompson with papers informing him of the process for the Electoral Board, a woman at the address he gave indicated she was his ex-wife, and that he no longer lived there.

Thompson on Wednesday insists he has a state identification card for that address, has the water bill for that property in his name and is even registered to vote there.

“I voted for Barack Obama out of Sauk Village,” Thompson said, while stating repeatedly he does not believe the electoral board on Wednesday treated his challenges fairly.

He said his wife told the police officer what she said because she felt he was harassing her. “She blew him off,” Thompson said. “A lot of people don’t have confidence in the Sauk Village Police Department.”

But Village Attorney Michael McGrath said the statement by his wife is on a police report, making it legally sound for the Electoral Board to consider.

Thompson said he plans to make an issue of his interest in the challenge when he files an appeal against the electoral board in Cook County Circuit Court.

That could be significant because when an electoral board Tuesday consisting of attorneys appointed by a Cook County judge heard Thompson’s argument against the Unity party, it rejected the issue as being significant — although it found other grounds upon which to reject Thompson’s claims.

The electoral board on Wednesday also rejected claims of improper signatures by Debbie Williams and by petition circulator Patricia Couch.

The board’s decisions will not become official until it meets again Tuesday to sign orders that will be drafted in coming days.

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