Anyone in North Riverside looking for a quick resolution to the ballot battle between VIP Party supporter John Beresheim and a slate of candidates nominated by the Transparency and Accountability in Politics Party will have to wait a little longer.
Both sides were due in court on Feb. 13 to present their cases to Cook County Judge Paul Karkula, but an attorney scheduling conflict delayed that hearing. The parties are now scheduled to appear in court for oral arguments on Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. on the 17th Floor of the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St. in Chicago.
TAP Party leader Rocco DeSantis has appealed last month’s ruling to remove him, three trustee candidates and a clerk candidate from the ballot by a North Riverside electoral board comprising three political rivals. Karkula, at a preliminary hearing on Jan. 29, ordered that the names of TAP’s candidates remain on the ballot until he rules on the case.
If the party’s candidates are stricken from the ballot, they still would have an opportunity to run as write-ins. While the deadline to file as a write-in candidate passed on Feb. 7, those involved in electoral challenges can register as write-ins up until April 2 for the April 9 election, according to Cook County Clerk spokeswoman Courtney Greve.
Election officials will only count votes for those who have officially registered as write-in candidates.
Hearing on mayor’s suit postponed
Also last week, Judge Mary Lane Mikva postponed a hearing regarding a lawsuit filed against DeSantis by Mayor Kenneth Krochmal. Both sides were to appear before Mikva on Feb. 15, but the hearing was rescheduled for Feb. 28.
While the lawsuits are separate cases, they are somewhat related. Krochmal seeks to have DeSantis removed from his office as a trustee, using the identical argument Beresheim is using to have DeSantis disqualified from the April ballot.
Both contend that DeSantis, a former North Riverside police officer who is on disability leave, is not officially retired from the police force and, hence, ineligible to hold office as a member of the village board.
Mikva is waiting for Karkula’s ruling before hearing Krochmal’s case.