Local

Man kicked off ballot for Crystal Lake City Council claims clerk said he could turn in papers late

Robert Miller files election paperwork Nov. 26 at Crystal Lake City Hall.
Robert Miller files election paperwork Nov. 26 at Crystal Lake City Hall.

A Crystal Lake man who wanted to run for City Council but was kicked off the ballot this week said he was given assurance from the former McHenry County clerk that he could submit paperwork after the deadline.

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.

Miller said he turned in his statement of economic interest Nov. 27 – a day after the filing deadline – with former McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan’s permission. The McHenry County Clerk’s Office was closed Nov. 26 because of a snowstorm.

When questioned about Miller’s claims, McClellan said in a text, “That is not factual.” She declined to clarify her message.

McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio said Wednesday that he has no record of such an assurance, and office staff do not recall such an agreement ever being made.

Miller, who provided the Northwest Herald with a receipt that appeared to be stamped by McClellan’s office on Nov. 26, said he was consulting with legal counsel about his next steps.

“[McClellan] said, ‘Come in on the 27th in the morning, and I will stamp it as the 26th and you can turn it into the city,’ “ Miller said. “I don’t know why she’s denying that right now. She said she would do everything she could.”

2015 precedent

The Electoral Board threw two candidates off the ballot in 2015.

Before that spring election, the Electoral Board threw mayoral candidate Sascha Chadwick and City Council candidate Jeremy Krick off the ballot because their petitions were not consecutively numbered and neatly bound as required by law, and Krick’s did not have enough signatures, according to Northwest Herald archives.

Mayor Aaron Shepley filed the complaint against Chadwick, and the same three City Council incumbents on the ballot filed the complaint against Krick.

The Electoral Board is made up of three members of from City Council, the mayor or the city clerk, as determined by state statute.

When one of these people also is the candidate, their spot is to be filled by the council member with the second most years on the council.

The Electoral Board currently is composed of Shepley, who serves as chairman, City Clerk Nick Kachiroubas and council member Ralph Dawson.

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