House Minority Leader Lee Daniels’ top assistant Mike Tristano went to jail for using state-paid House Republican staff employees to work on legislative campaigns. McHenry County was one of the locations where Attorney Rich Means pointed the finger that led to the jail term.
While only naming employees of current House Minority Leader Tom Cross, not supervisory personnel, the brief filed by that same Rich Means on behalf of David McSweeney’s election challenge to appointed incumbent State Rep. Kent Gaffney makes similar charges:
“The Nomination Papers herein contain petition pages which were illegally circulated by State of Illinois, House of Representatives Republican Staff employees Garret Hill and Nicholas McNeely on State time and with the use of State resources in violation of §9-25.1 of the Illinois Election Code, Article VIII. §1 of the Illinois Constitution, several provisions of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act and numerous other Illinois laws.
“Such petition sheets are therefore the proceeds of a crime from which the candidate must not be allowed to benefit.
“Such illegally gathered petition sheets demonstrate a pattern of fraud and disregard of the Election Code to such a degree that every signature on every sheet circulated by said individuals is invalid, and should be invalidated, in order to protect the integrity of the electoral process.”
Those are strong words.
The petition goes on to involve Garrett Hill’s father Alan Hill, the husband of McHenry County Board member Tina Hill and legislative assistant to State Rep. Mike Tryon. Hill is accused of falsely notarizing numerous of the petitions.
“The Nomination Papers herein contain petition pages which purport to have been circulated by Alan Hill…
“In fact, those petition sheets were circulated by State of Illinois, House of Representatives Republican Staff employees Garret Hill and Nicholas McNeely who then conspired with each other and Alan Hill to procure Alan Hill’s perjured circulator affidavit on each such petition sheet.
“Because Garret Hill and Nicholas McNeely suborned Alan Hill’s perjury on those circulator affidavits, and because Alan Hill perjured himself in the circulator affidavits, Garret Hill, Alan Hill and Nicholas McNeely have demonstrated a pattern of fraud and disregard of the Election Code to such a degree that every signature on these petition sheets and also on every sheet which, on its face, purports to have been circulated by Garret Hill and Nicholas McNeely is invalid, and should be invalidated, in order to protect the integrity of the electoral process.”
If McSweeney’s allegation of a pattern of fraud manages to convince the State Board of Elections to invalidate all petitions signed by Garrent Hill, Nicholas McNeely and Alan Hill, “the Nomination Papers contain fewer than the statutory minimum number of 500” required signatures.
Comments were sought from all accused of wrong doing. As of 10:15 PM, none had offered any.
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You can read the complaint upon which this story is based here.