Crystal Lake man taken off ballot for city council

Robert Miller files his statement of economic interest Nov. 26 at Crystal Lake City Hall.
Robert Miller files his statement of economic interest Nov. 26 at Crystal Lake City Hall.

A Crystal Lake man who hoped to run for a seat on the City Council will not appear on the ballot.

The city’s Electoral Board voted Monday night to sustain objections against Robert Miller brought by three current council members. Cathy Ferguson, Brett Hopkins and Ellen Brady objected to Miller’s nominating papers because his statement of economic interest was turned in too late.

“The board was sympathetic. ... There are risks if you wait until the last day to do something,” Electoral Board attorney Kenneth Florey said.

The Electoral Board, which rules on such matters, is composed of Mayor Aaron Shepley – who serves as chairman – and members Nick Kachiroubas and Ralph Dawson.

Miller said he may appeal the decision and believes he was unfairly targeted.

“The same group has done this to other candidates in the past,” he said, adding that he was inspired to run for a seat on the City Council only days before the deadline. “This makes them the only people. They don’t even have to spend any money [on] an election.”

Miller, who said he never has run for office and has been a vocal advocate for his neighbors struggling with flooding, said he turned in his statement of economic interest
Nov. 27, a day after the filing deadline. The McHenry County Clerk’s Office was closed Nov. 26 because of inclement weather.

“I think they are intimidated,” said his wife, Dianne Miller.

Florey said the Electoral Board dismissed two other objections against Robert Miller. The three council members objected to some language on his petition stating that he was running for “City Council,” which they suggested could have led people to believe they were signing a petition for mayor, who also is a member of the council.

The trio also took issue with Robert Miller’s petition saying that the election would be held in April instead of February, when the city holds primary elections. The Electoral Board ruled that voters signing their signatures were not confused on these matters.

Robert Miller said he received informal notice of the objections Friday and was served with papers by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday.

He said he had little time to mount a defense.

Ferguson said she is “not afraid of running against anyone” and does not have a vendetta against Robert Miller.

“I want to know that someone’s going to do their due diligence,” she said. “The date is the date. You have a whole year to follow the law. The law is the law.”

Hopkins and Brady were not available to comment Tuesday evening.

Shepley said it would not be appropriate for him to comment on the matter.

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