A closed preliminary hearing to determine whether a political action committee that tried to pull a McHenry Township consolidation referendum from November’s ballot failed to report campaign finances has been scheduled for April 23.
According to a complaint from McHenry Township Trustee Bob Anderson, the Citizens for Facts First committee – of which Township Supervisor Craig Adams is a member – failed to report legal costs for three separate court appearances related to its efforts to remove a referendum asking voters whether the road district should be abolished and consolidated into the township.
Both Adams and Carol Perschke were named as respondents in the complaint.
“They really did not want that question on the ballot,” Anderson said.
From Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, the committee only reported a $197.85 legal expense to Hibbs Law LLC, according to quarterly reports from the Illinois Board of Elections.
Anderson, a longtime consolidation advocate, said in the complaint that based on the $15,128 that McHenry Township spent on attorney and court fees through the ordeal, Citizens for Facts First must have had similar expenses.
Anderson said he had observed a similar reporting discrepancy in 1994 when he spearheaded a referendum to eliminate McHenry County’s townships by switching from a county board to a three-member panel of county commissioners.
A second complaint states that the Citizens to Re-Elect Bob Miller committee reported a total of $570 to Citizens for Facts First between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2018. However, Citizens for Facts First never reported receipt of these transfers.
Adams said he will be able to prove the validity of the reported expenses at the hearing, and that Anderson doesn’t understand the rules of reporting.
“They’re only accusations at this time, and we’re confident that they will be found unjustified,” Adams said.
Both parties have the right to be represented by legal counsel in any proceeding conducted by the state board of elections. If the board determines that Anderson’s complaints have been filed on justifiable grounds, a public hearing may then be scheduled.