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updated: 2/24/2011 5:21 PM

Gurnee trustee kicked off ballot for owing political fines

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  • Michael Jacobs

    Michael Jacobs


Gurnee Trustee Michael Jacobs won't appear on the April 5 ballot because he owes a state elections agency more than $2,500 in fines connected to his 2008 run for Lake County state's attorney, officials said.

Jacobs, 49, a Cook County assistant state's attorney, had planned to seek his second 4-year term as a Gurnee village board trustee. He ran as a Democrat when Republican State's Attorney Michael Waller topped him in 2008.

Cindy Pagano, who helps oversee Lake County's elections as chief deputy clerk, said Thursday state law required Jacobs' removal from the ballot for the April 5 election because of his political committee's unpaid fines.

Pagano said the clerk's office acted after receiving word last month Citizens for Michael Jacobs owes the state $2,550 for being late in filing two campaign disclosure reports when he ran for Lake County's top law-enforcement job.

Attempts to reach Jacobs were unsuccessful Thursday.

Records show Jacobs was fined $2,350 after he was 47 days late in filing a semiannual campaign disclosure document that covered expenses and contributions from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2008. That report was filed March 30, 2009.

In addition, Jacobs was fined $200 for being a day late in submitting a pre-election report on Oct. 21, 2008.

A state board of elections official said Jacobs had yet to pay the fines as of Thursday. He and several other politicians are on an agency website page for deadbeat campaign committees under a heading of "Fines Due and Owing."

Illinois election law says the list should be transmitted to any authority, such as a county clerk, in charge of placing candidates' names on the ballot.

"The election authority shall not place upon the ballot the name of any candidate appearing on this list for any office in any election while the penalty is unpaid, unless the candidate has requested a hearing and the (state) has not disposed of the matter by the date of (ballot) certification," the state law says.

Jacobs circulated petitions and gained enough signatures to get on the April 5 ballot. His name was left off the ballot when the layout was finalized by the Lake County clerk's office earlier this month.

With Jacobs out of the race, that means the field has been reduced to five candidates seeking three open village trustee seats.

Greg Garner and Cheryl Ross are the incumbent trustees on the ballot. Garner and Mayor Kristina Kovarik periodically lock horns, while Ross and Jacobs have typically aligned with her politically.

Also in the village board race are plan commission member Steve Park and political newcomers Heath Hummel and Matt Koch.