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updated: 9/25/2012 11:09 AM

Lawson disputes claims of Mussman mailer

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  • John Lawson, left, opposes state Rep. Michelle Mussman in the 56th State House District race.

    John Lawson, left, opposes state Rep. Michelle Mussman in the 56th State House District race.


A new mailer backing Democratic state Rep. Michelle Mussman's re-election says Republican opponent John Lawson will continue to work two other taxpayer-funded jobs if elected, contrary to what he declared in her presence at an endorsement interview at the Daily Herald last week.

Lawson told the Daily Herald and Mussman that if elected representative of the 56th District in November, he would retire from existing jobs as a Roselle police officer and the elected assessor of Schaumburg Township.

But the recent Mussman mailer states that Lawson has not promised to be a "full-time" representative, and he would collect three taxpayer-funded salaries simultaneously.

The mailer uses a photograph of Lawson on a caricature of a chef making three cupcakes, labeled "Schaumburg Township," "Village of Roselle," and "State of Illinois."

The mailer states, "For property tax Assessor John Lawson, collecting three taxpayer-funded paychecks would be a sweet deal," and "Property tax Assessor John Lawson wants to have his cakes, and eat them, too!"

Mussman said she stands by the mailer, stating she believes questions remain about Lawson's intentions.

Among those questions is exactly when Lawson would step down as assessor if elected -- immediately in November, or when his term ends.

Lawson said he would plan to step down as assessor as soon as Schaumburg Township could appoint someone to replace him. But because assessor is one of the few elected offices that carries an educational and license requirement, he said it's possible it would take until the spring 2013 election for someone else to be prepared for the job.

He said his plans to give up those jobs if elected state representative is old news. So too, he said, is his vow to turn down a legislative pension if elected -- a promise he's unsuccessfully challenged Mussman to make as well.

Mussman said she saw a Facebook post by Lawson stating he had three years left to go as a police officer to qualify for a 30-year pension. That, she believes, implies he plans to remain on the force three more years.

"I guess I felt I had something to go on there," Mussman said. "I think this is a very public question. It's a question that's asked of me. ... My community is very suspicious of people seen as climbing the political ladder."

Lawson said he will retire as a police officer before taking office if elected state representative. Although that locks his pension in at 27 years, he said it will be enough to see him through the rest of his life.

"I'm not going on the offensive saying what she did is wrong, but the information is false," he added.

The 56th District includes Schaumburg, where both candidates live, and parts of Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Hanover Park, Roselle and Bloomingdale.

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