It will be at least another month, probably longer, before a Cook County judge will hear arguments in a lawsuit brought against Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 by a local resident and an anti-tax group charging that members of the school’s faculty engaged in illegal electioneering during the referendum campaign in 2011.
Judge LeRoy K. Martin Jr. was to have heard arguments during a hearing set for Monday morning, Jan. 23, but it was continued after the lawyer for the plaintiffs, Andrew Spiegel, encountered “unexpected personal issues,” according to Christina Tobin, vice president of Taxpayers United of America, which filed the suit along with Riverside resident Tony Peraica last April.
Last week and on Monday morning Taxpayers United of America sent out emails and faxes to news organizations trumpeting the Monday morning hearing, but it never materialized.
“It should’ve happened today,” Tobin said. “A very unexpected, last-minute problem arose.”
The case is set for a status hearing on Feb. 15. At that time, a schedule for hearing arguments will be made.
The suit seeks more than $50,000 in damages and alleges that the district used public funds to advocate in favor of a tax referendum, which is against Illinois election law.
Jim Tobin, president of Taxpayers United of America, called the referendum campaign “the most blatant example of electioneering I’ve seen in over 30 years of fighting taxes here in Illinois.”
– Bob Uphues