Island Lake election panel to decide two candidates' validity

ISLAND LAKE – A battle over the candidacies of two Village Board hopefuls comes to a head Monday when the electoral board meets at 7 p.m.

Two residents filed objections to village board candidates Charles Amrich and Anthony Sciarrone, claiming the men are ineligible to run for office.

Daniel Field and Louis Sharp claim Amrich cannot run for trustee in the April 9 consolidated general election “because he was in arrears of a payment of a debt to the municipality.”

“The Candidate here was in arrears of water, waste, and other debts to the Village of Island Lake at the time he signed his sworn oath in his Statement of Candidacy,” they alleged in their formal objection.

The two also claim Sciarrone is indebted to the village “by way of misappropriating municipal funds in his previous capacity as Chief of the Island Lake Police Department. The Candidate used municipality employees to perform personal work for him while the employees were being compensated by the village.”

Amrich served as village president from 1985 to 2005.

Neither objection filing details specific debt figures.

Calls to Field and Sharp were not returned Friday.

Amrich and Sciarrone are running on the “For the People” slate with three others: Clerk candidate Teresa Ponio and trustee candidates Mark Beeson and Keith Johns.

The competing slate, “United for Progress,” is led by Debbie Herrmann, who’s seeking re-election as village president. Also included are Clerk Connie Mascillino, who is seeking re-election, and trustee candidates Josh Rohde, Ken Nitz and Ed McGinty.

The electoral board that will oversee Monday’s hearing, as prescribed by the Illinois Election Code, comprises the village president, the village clerk and the trustee with the most time served on the board. That is Herrmann, Mascillino and Trustee Laurie Rabattini.

But because Amrich is Herrmann’s election opponent, Herrmann only can be involved in hearing objections to Sciarrone. Trustee Shannon Fox, with trustees Chuck Cermak and Thea Morris, will preside at Amrich’s hearing, Herrmann said.

“I’m not part of that electoral board,” she said. “My hands are washed of the whole situation.”

But Wayne Schnell, Amrich’s campaign manager and supporter of the “For the People” slate, doesn’t see it that way. “It should be pretty interesting. The electoral board just happens to be on the opposing slate,” he said.

“But we stand ready to fight. We’re optimistic and we believe our candidates should move forward and should be placed on the ballot.”

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