Associate Judge Thomas Meyer quashed the hope of Crystal Lake resident Robert Miller to obtain a place on the April City Council ballot.
That means incumbent council members Cathy Ferguson, Ellen Brady, and Brett Hopkins, having no opposition in the election will serve four more years.
This is the second time that Crystal Lake city leaders have knocked all opponents off the ballot.
The same thing happened four years ago.
Her is wife Dianne Miller’s explanation of what happened in court Friday:
Robert lost his appeal.
He didn’t go out without a very impressive fight.
Especially for someone who represented himself pro-se [that is, without an attorney’s assistance].
There were two other attorneys – Kenneth Florey represented the Electoral Board and three different attorneys from Zukowski, Rogers, Flood and McArdle represented Hopkins, Brady and Ferguson. Brady and Ferguson were in attendance.
We were very surprised when Judge Thomas Meyer said he agreed with the Electoral Board position that the Illinois General Assembly doesn’t give the electoral board or courts the authority to extend the deadline.
We could find no records of any previous similar case law. We searched every governmental body from Algonquin Township, to McHenry County to the State of Illinois.
There were no records of the case between Marshall Lowe and Dell Miller.
If we could have found it, I believe Robert would have won.
Judge Meyer even searched on his computer during the hearing and could find nothing.
Due to the record low temperatures on January 30th and 31st, much of local, county and state government was closed.
McHenry County offices and courts were closed.
We thought this might make a difference in judge Meyer’s decision.
There had to have been once instance, somewhere in McHenry County, of a legal requirement that was unable to be met because of the 2 day closure. That didn’t matter.
The other argument that Robert made was one of “Substantial Compliance”.
While judge Meyer agreed that Robert had indeed done everything he could to comply
with the Statement of Economic Interests receipt filing requirement, he still did not have the authority to extend the deadline.
I believe he didn’t want to set a precedent by ruling in Robert’s favor since there is no previous case law.
It is a shame that for the second election cycle, there will be no real election in Crystal Lake.
Oh there will be an election – one that WE paid for!
Hopkins, Brady and Ferguson have figured out a slick way to eliminate the competition and use OUR tax money to do it.
By eliminating competition, they don’t have to
- campaign or
- debate the issues
They might have had some costs for their attorney, but we have no way of knowing if their attorney fees were pro-bono or discounted.
(Remember that Mayor Shepley’s wife works for the law firm that represented Hopkins, Brady and Ferguson)
All of the other costs associated with the Electoral Board are paid for by the local governmental body that the hearing took place in.
That means all the citizens of Crystal Lake footed the bill to remove Robert from the ballot.
I have previously submitted a FOIA to Crystal Lake to obtain the costs associated with the hearing.
They replied that as of that date there were no expenses.
I will wait until those expenses have been submitted to the city and then file another FOIA.
The residents of Crystal Lake have a right to know how much of THEIR tax money was used to take away their chance to choose who represents them.
Someone posted on your blog – “Maybe there’s a good Robert Miller in McH County after all”.
There is one!
We want to thank all of our friends, neighbors and supporters.
- Those that were out during the snowstorm collecting petition signatures.
- Those that helped spread the word about Robert’s campaign and court appeal.
- Those that attended the Electoral Board hearing.
- Those that contributed to the Go-Fund-Me campaign to get back on the ballot.
- Those that offered much appreciated ideas, support and encouragement.
Robert is still deciding if he will do a write-in campaign.