A judge on Tuesday ordered that the names of five North Riverside Village Board candidates remain on the ballot pending the outcome of an appeal in Cook County Circuit Court.
At a hearing in Chicago on Jan. 29, Judge Paul Karkula agreed to attorney Richard Means’ request that the names of candidates from the Transparency and Accountability in Politics Party should not be stricken from the ballot until Karkula rules on the matter later this month.
Both sides will present their arguments in court at a hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 10:30 a.m. on the 17th floor of the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St. in Chicago. Means must file briefs by Feb. 4, while the attorney for objector John Beresheim must file briefs by Feb. 7.
Since having his objections sustained at the local level, Beresheim reportedly has retained Burt Odelson as his attorney for the appeal. Odelson was known in Chicago as the attorney who represented individuals objecting to the nominating papers of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2010.
Odelson and Means have squared off against one another in electoral cases many times through the years, most recently in Cicero earlier this month.
A North Riverside electoral board on Jan. 17 barred TAP’s candidates from the ballot. Rocco DeSantis, who is TAP’s candidate for mayor, referred to the hearing as a “kangaroo court,” since all of its members were from the rival VIP Party of North Riverside.
Running for trustee on the TAP ticket are trustee candidates Annabelle Downs, Luigi “Gino” Labellarte and Marybelle Mandel and clerk candidate Peter Culafic. They are opposed by VIP’s slate of Hubert Hermanek Jr. for mayor; Matthew Decosola, Joseph Mengoni and Vera Wilt for trustee; and Kathy Ranieri for clerk.
Richard Alvarez is running for trustee as an independent.
It’s unclear if Karkula will hand down a ruling on Feb. 13. Either way, his ruling could be appealed to the Illinois Appellate Court and, ultimately, to the Illinois Supreme Court.
In the meantime, the Cook County Clerk’s Office will begin printing ballots on Feb. 15, beginning with races where there are no challenges pending.
“There is plenty to be done while the challenges are being decided,” said Courtney Greve, spokeswoman for the clerk’s office. “We hope the courts will wrap everything up by Feb. 25 so we can send the final ballots to be printed.”
Early voting in Cook County begins March 25. The election is April 9.