Tuesday afternoon, Riverside resident and former Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica and Taxpayers United of Illinois filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 and all seven District 208 school board members according to a preliminary copy of the lawsuit provided to the Landmark Tuesday morning.
The school board members were named as defendants in both their official capacities and as individuals.
The lawsuit claims D208 engaged in illegal electioneering activities at public expense in relation to the April 5 RB tax referendum, which was defeated by an overwhelming margin, with nearly 77 percent voting No.
The lawsuit charges that D208 or district employees produced and distributed leaflets in support of the referendum and used the school’s cable television station to advocate for Yes votes. It also charges that the ballot language of the referendum misled voters as to the amount of the tax increase that would have resulted had the referendum passed.
The suit asks for damages not to exceed $50,000 for alleged violations of constitutional rights and asks that the defendants be ordered to pay all damages and costs, including the plaintiff’s attorney’s fees, from private funds.
The draft of the lawsuit misstates the results of the April 5 referendum giving incorrect vote totals and apparently using only the results from the Riverside Township portion of District 208.
The attorney for the plaintiffs is Andrew Spiegel, who ran for the United States Senate as the candidate of the Libertarian Party in 1992.