No Decision in Algonquin Township Abolition Petition Objection Hearing

With three current Algonquin Township officials the “judges,” the challenge to the petition for a referendum to consolidate Algonquin Township into McHenry County continues.

Two hours on Tuesday morning were set by the Township Electoral Board and the challenge filed by Republican Township Supervisor candidate Randolph Funk.

The first part was taken by petition supporter Robert Hanlon’s arguments for dismissing the petition objection,

Hanlon argued that the objection document was inadequate because it used a “shotgun” approach, while there was an obligation to set forth specifics.

Robert Hanlon

Instead, the objectors were attempting to “shift the burden” of evidence, he said.

“It’s a game of hide the pea…almost a trial by surprise.”

The original petition contained “conclusions,” not “facts.”

He pointed out that no specific signature had been challenged.

Hanlon read from the Illinois State Board of Elections manual on petition challenges, characterizing it as a “learned thesis.”

The manual says, “Shotgun objections must be dismissed” and characterizes such as “attempts to shift the burden.”

“That’s exactly what’s going on here.

“What signatures are deficient?

“It’s as simple as that.”

Hanlon argued that affidavits as to the accuracy of the petition signatures were at the bottom of the petitions.

Entering such information at this point in the proceedings would be contrary to a Second Appellate Court decision, he continued.

In rebuttal, Funk’s attorney Michael Cortina said,

“The proponents are terrified that you will actually look at the number of signatures on their petitions.”

Michael Cortina

He then defended his petition’s not including specifics.

Cortina argued Hanlon was “asking the Board to read requirements into the Election Code that isn’t there.

“Itemization is not required by the Election Code.

“We have to state what is the nature of the objection.”

He said that the petition does not have to have “a line by line” revelation of the contents of the objection.

“The point of the hearing is to go line by line [to view] the evidence.

“The nature of the objection is that they do not have enough signatures.”

Later he added, “They are woefully shy of the number they need to get this on the ballot,” but did not specify a number.

Because this is an administrative hearing, “the rules of evidence are relaxed,” he continued.

“The point of this hearing is to show the evidence.

In rebuttal, Hanlon asked,

“Do I look terrified?”

He said the reason he had filed his motion to dismiss was to expedite the proceedings and to create a record for any necessary court hearing.

“I’d love to look at the evidence, if he had only provided it.”

Pointing out that he had participated in twenty such hearings, Hanlon said he had “never once…seen an objection that doesn’t specify signatures.”

Keren Lukasik

At this point Clerk Lukasik observed, “This is the second hearing on the motion to strike.”

She indicated she wanted “more detail on invalid signatures.

“I think we need to vote to move forward with the hearing or not.

“I have to agree that Mr. Cortina did state the nature [of Funk’s petition].

“We need to hear what petitions may be invalid.”

Hanlon’s motion to dismiss the objection to the petitions was rejected 3-0.

Teresa Decker

As the meeting’s end was approaching, Funk’s attorney Michael Cortina was entering evidence that about signatures his researcher, unopposed Township Trustee candidate Theresa Sharpe Decker, thought were invalid.

She testified that she had spent six weeks comparing absentee ballot signatures at the County Clerk’s Office.

This submission, which Kelly said had been given to Hanlon and the Township, was objected to by referendum supporter attorney Robert Hanlon.

Township Attorney Jim Kelly advised that such discussion would be appropriate “after you make a decision to strike or allow his [Hanlon’s] motion.”

Supervisor Chuck Lutzow, Clerk Karen Lukasik and Trustee Dan Shea rejected the motion to prevent the evidence’s submission, as they had Hanlon’s motion to dismiss Funk’s petition objection for being a “shotgun approach” with no signatures being specifically cited as invalid.

The first example of a signature claimed to be invalid was that of Timothy V. Stegenga, 220 College Street in Crystal Lake. (See line 4.)

The suspect signature is on line 4 below:

Stegenga uses his nickname, “Tim.” and does not include the “V” that is on the voter registration records.

His signature appears to be above his wife’s.

Lutzow noted, “My signature changes by my mood.”

Hanlon continued offering objections concerning hearsay pointing out that an expert’s opinion was required on the handwriting.

“If everything is going to be objected to, we’ll never get to what…the original objection to these petitions are,” Lukasik observed.

“What would you like to see?” Lutzow asked.

“Let both parties present [their arguements].

“We need to get the ball rolling.”

Then, Shea asked whether people other than the signatory could fill in the rest of abbreviated street and town names, such as, “CL,” of which he said there were “loads of pages.”

Shea concluded that Tim Stegenga’s signature was invalid.

Just before the hearing ended, Electoral Board Chairman Lutzow ruled that the objector’s signature “evidence” should be allowed.

Lukasik said she could only meet on Fridays and the next one on which the attorney’s were free is Friday, January 15th. The hearing will run from 10 to noon, a half an hour for lunch, then back in session.


Comments

No Decision in Algonquin Township Abolition Petition Objection Hearing — 17 Comments

  1. These sorts of objections will never be upheld in court.

    The petition is presumed valid unless it can be validly objected to.

    The election board is not required to engage in a fishing expedition.

    Signers do not have to include full names without nicknames and middle initials.

    That is absurd.

    I can’t believe that this election board did not grant the motion to dismiss.

    This election board is clearly biased.

    The Anderson vs McHenry Township case indicates that where the petition seeks to abolish the township, no member of the election board may consist of current board members or elected officials whose terms may be affected by the abolition if they receive compensation for their positions that would be affected by the abolition.

    I am not sure how all of that falls with respect to this petition abolition date and the terms of the election board members but that case is controlling and should require recusal if applicable.

    https://law.justia.com/cases/illinois/court-of-appeals-second-appellate-district/1997/2961259.html

    The objectors attorney must be a protege of Rudy Guliani.

  2. ** Lukasik said she could only meet on Fridays and the next one on which the attorney’s were free is January 13th.**

    Seriously?

    She can only meet on Fridays?

  3. Signatures must match the signature on the Voters Registration Card.

    Otherwise anyone could sign anyone’s name on a Petition and turn them.

    Pennsylvania for example had 205,000 more votes than registered voters and one would have to question the result rather than it should just be blindly accepted.

    Without integrity and verification an Election or in this matter a Petition is worthless as I could spend an afternoon signing names off of a list then turning it in as valid with no questions asked.

  4. The next Algonquin Township Electoral Board hearing is January 15, not 13 (Shea inadvertently said that on the ZOOM call and was corrected).

  5. Ah, “township government, the form of government closest to the people”.

    The hypocrisy of that statement boggles the mind. Only in township matters would the ruling board be composed of existing township officials.

    See anything wrong with that set-up?

    Surely these “impartial” citizens will consider and vote fairly on this issue.

    Let’s leave the fox in charge of the hen house!

    Maybe one of our reps can show the chutzpah of McSweeney and address some of the inequities that perpetuate the existence of township domination in northern Illinois and particularly Algonquin township.

    Let’s protect the Miller gang’s dynasty at all costs.

    After all, now Miller’s son-in-law is running for road commissioner, his daughter provides the legal coverage and McHenry township road chief hires Miller himself so the gang is never out of township income.

    How silly that anyone would want to put the consolidation issue on the ballot.

    Actually give taxpayers a vote?

    That’s not the township way.

    Come on. Be real.

  6. Robert Hanlon is THE MAN.

    He is playing chess when everyone else is reading instructions to play checkers.

  7. **Pennsylvania for example had 205,000 more votes than registered voters and one would have to question the result rather than it should just be blindly accepted.**

    LOL – no, PA did not have more votes than registered voters.

  8. Cortina “Hanlon’s terrified!!”

    Hanlon “Do I look Terrified” with laughter attached.

    Ha!

    Was he terrified in the appellate court in McHenry Twp?

    Was he terrified fighting local 150?

    Whether you like hanlon or not, he doesn’t run from a fight.

    I think he might actually like a good fight.

    Commenter above talked about the terrified one playing chess while others are looking up the rules for checkers.

    Well so far he baited both Lukasik and Shea into saying really dumb things.

    Not only is Shea’s mind made up, he was dumb enough to comment on the lack of legality on a signature before the proponents case is presented.

    What a maroon!

    What’s clear to me is the record being made is for a decision by a court.

    In Hanlon’s terror he even told them he’s making a record.

    I can see him shaking in his boots.

  9. Frank is right, and for the first time in history I agree with Alabama, at 5:45.

    These biased idiots (sitting township officials) have no business sitting on the Electoral board. Talk about kangaroo court!

    Their strategy is to delay, delay, delay and prevent a campaign to abolish a useless form of Big Government from commencing.

    Well, guess what?

    I have 7 relatives in Algonquin plus, at least, 20 friends there.

    (Must examine my rolladex)

    I shall make it my duty and mission to get these people to vote to abolish.

    Yes, the stepped upon township taxpaying worms will turn!

  10. Why didn’t the township sham candidate Deckler bother to contact Tim S. And ask him if he signed the petition.

    Instead she ate 4 boxes of Krispy Kremes.

  11. This whole case proves the biggest township supporters are leeches on the township racket…., township officials and wannabees, a greedy township lawyer Kelly and a wannabee Cortinka.

    Hang them all

  12. I’ll have to watch the next session.

    Sounds like a real local sitcom of stupidity.

  13. Hanlon/Gasser’s approach to the 150 union issue was all wrong.

    Before firing the employees they should of got the IL state labor board to say union and the contract were void.

    A few hundred thousand dollars could of been saved on legal fees, fees Hanlon was more than willing to pocket.

  14. Dah!!!

    some Crystal lakers ARE IN ALGONQUIN TOWNSHIP DOH!

    i.e. the creeper church..

  15. About four years ago I was one of several who petitioned to have Bob Miller paperwork ruled invalid as he used the wrong paperwork.

    This despite the fact that he was running for the same Highway commissioner position he had held for more that a couple terms.

    There was a hearing by the “Algonquin Township Electoral Board” comprised of
    Supervisor Chuck Lutzow, and Trustee Dan Shea and one other.

    Each also had similar questions brought up against each of the them.

    The funniest part, was the the board was made of of these same peers when hearing the complaints the complaints against other board members.

    In essence they all were allowed to vote in favor of their peer, and then have that peer vote for them in return.

    The lack of professionalism was astounding.

    That day I saw how incompetent the individuals on the board are and continue to never disappoint.

  16. The makeup of electoral boards is dictated by the Election Code.

    So, the place to address criticisms in such regard is the General Assembly.

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