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Rahm Emanuel Appellate Court Ruling

Rahm Emanuel Appellate Court Ruling

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Published by: Garance R Franke-Ruta on Jan 24, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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FIRST DIVISIONFILED: January 24, 2011No. 1-11-0033WALTER P. MAKSYM and THOMAS L.McMAHON,Petitioners-Appellants,v.THE BOARD OF ELECTIONCOMMISSIONERS OF THE CITY OFCHICAGO, et al.,(RAHM EMANUEL,Respondent-Appellee).)))))))))))))APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUITCOURT OF COOK COUNTYNo. 2010 COEL 020HONORABLEMARK J. BALLARD,JUDGE PRESIDING._________________________________________________________________JUSTICE HOFFMAN delivered the judgment of the court, withopinion.Presiding Justice Hall concurred in the judgment and opinion.Justice Lampkin dissented, with opinion.
The petitioners, Walter P. Maksym, Jr., and Thomas L. McMahon,filed written objections to the candidacy of the respondent, RahmEmanuel (the candidate), who seeks to be a candidate for Mayor ofthe City of Chicago in the Municipal General Election to be held onFebruary 22, 2011. After an evidentiary hearing, the Board ofElection Commissioners of the City of Chicago (the Board) dismissedthe objections and ruled that the candidate was entitled to havehis name included on the ballot as a mayoral candidate. Thepetitioners sought judicial review in the circuit court of CookCounty, which confirmed the decision of the Board. The petitionersnow appeal. For the reasons that follow, we reverse the circuitcourt’s judgment, set aside the Board’s decision, and order that
No. 1-11-00332the candidate’s name be excluded (or, if necessary, removed) fromthe ballot for Chicago’s February 22, 2011, mayoral election.Although the parties engaged in an extensive evidentiaryhearing prior to the Board’s decision, the pertinent facts arelargely undisputed on appeal. It suffices for our purposes tosummarize and adopt the hearing officer’s factual findings, whichthe Board adopted and which we hereinafter refer to as the Board’sfindings. In so doing, we conclude that those findings were notagainst the manifest weight of the evidence. See
Cinkus v. Villageof Stickney Municipal Officers Electoral Board 
, 228 Ill. 2d 200,210, 886 N.E.2d 1011 (2008).The candidate was born in Chicago and, in December 1998,purchased a Chicago home (the Hermitage house), which he stillowns. The candidate lived with his family in that home from 1998through January 2009. On January 2, 2009, the candidate, who hadup to then served as a member of the United States House ofRepresentatives elected from the district that included theHermitage house, resigned his office in order to serve inWashington, D.C., as Chief of Staff to the President of the UnitedStates. After traveling to Washington, D.C., he and his spousepurchased additional land adjoining their Chicago property.From January through May 2009, the candidate lived in an "in-law apartment" in Washington, D.C., while his family remained inthe Hermitage house. From June 2009 until October 1, 2010, thecandidate, and his family, lived in a Washington, D.C., house (the
No. 1-11-00333Woodley House) that was leased for the term spanning June 1, 2009,through June 30, 2011. The family received their mail at theWoodley house and moved most of their clothes and personalbelongings to Washington, D.C. They did, however, leave behind atthe Hermitage house several larger household items, includingtelevisions, a piano, and a bed, as well as several personalpossessions such as family heirlooms and books. The candidate’sHermitage house was leased to another family for the term ofSeptember 1, 2009, through June 30, 2011.At all relevant times, including the time he was inWashington, D.C., the candidate continued to pay property taxes forthe Hermitage house, continued to hold an Illinois driver’s licenselisting the Hermitage house as his address, continued to list theHermitage house address on his personal checks, and continued tovote with the Hermitage house as his registered voting address. Hedid, however, pay income tax in 2009 and 2010 to both Washington,D.C., and Illinois.On October 1, 2010, the candidate resigned his position ofChief of Staff to the President of the United States and enteredinto a lease to live in an apartment located on Milwaukee Avenue inChicago from October 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011. He has livedin that apartment since October 1, 2010. In his testimony, thecandidate explained that he had always expected to serve as Chiefof Staff to the President for approximately 18 to 24 months beforereturning to live in the Hermitage house.

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