Challenge of candidates in Island Lake goes on

ISLAND LAKE – Residents vented their frustrations with the village’s electoral board during a Thursday hearing to determine whether two candidates for municipal office are qualified to be on April’s ballot.

“I have never seen such a colossal waste of my money in my entire life as these proceedings are,” Greg Jenkins said. “ ... I’m absolutely dumbfounded that my tax dollars, my tax money is going to this charade. This is absurd.”

The hearing regarding objections filed against Charles Amrich, candidate for village president, and Anthony Sciarrone, a trustee candidate, will continue Feb. 4.

Two Island Lake residents and businessmen, Daniel Field and Louis Sharp, filed objections to Amrich’s and Sciarrone’s candidacies, claiming the men are ineligible to run for office in the April 9 election.

The formal objection says Amrich is disqualified because he 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.”

Field and Sharp also contend that Sciarrone is indebted, “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.”

Neither objection filing is specific on debt amounts. Evidence alleging the debts has yet to be presented. Attorney Anish Parikh, representing Field and Sharp, agreed to submit materials by Monday to David McArdle, who represents Amrich and Sciarrone, for legal discovery and response.

“It would just seem like if someone is going to object to something that they would have evidence prior and available to a meeting,” said another resident, one of approximately 20 people who attended the meeting.

There was no public comment in support of the objections filed by Field and Sharp.

Field and Sharp have ties to the current village administration. Field has a IT computer business; Sharp has the towing service Sharp Towing. Both are non-contracted vendors, officials confirm.

The three-member electoral board comprises Trustees Shannon Fox, Thea Morris and Laura Rabattini.

Typically, the electoral board is made up of the village president, the village clerk and the trustee with the most time on the board, as prescribed under the Illinois Election Code.

But in this case, the electoral board is different because of actual or perceived conflicts of interest related to the upcoming election.

Amrich and Sciarrone are running on the “For the People” slate. The competing slate, “United for Progress,” includes incumbents Debbie Herrmann, who is seeking re-election as village president, and Connie Mascillino, who is seeking re-election as clerk.

Herrmann recused herself from Sciarrone’s hearing and already was disqualified from sitting in the Amrich case because he is her opponent. Mascillino recused herself from sitting on both boards.

The electoral board’s
attorney is Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, of the firm Ancel Glink, which also represents the village.

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