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Article posted: 12/8/2012 8:00 AM

Kaptain will testify at electoral board hearing next week

By Elena Ferrarin

Friday's electoral board hearing regarding objections filed against Anthony Nance's petition to run for a seat on the Elgin City Council was postponed to next week so Mayor Dave Kaptain can testify.

Former Mayor Ed Schock and resident Nikki Scott filed objections to Nance's candidacy, saying he owes the city almost $8,400 in court costs tied to a federal lawsuit he filed against the city in 2006. State law says people who owe money to a municipality cannot run for office in that locale.

Nance, however, said Kaptain told him all matters regarding the lawsuit -- which Nance lost in 2010 -- had been settled and that there were no obstacles to his running for office. Nance said he supported Kaptain's election in 2011.

"Had I known that this was going to be an issue, I would have not done it. He (Kaptain) told me everything was fine," Nance said.

Kaptain declined to answer questions Friday, stating he'll testify Tuesday. At Friday's hearing Kaptain, who chairs the electoral board, recused himself after learning Nance planned to subpoena him.

Nance filed his response to the objections Thursday afternoon, stating he thought the debt had been satisfied or waived because Kaptain told him so during conversations in person and on the phone.

Assistant Corporation Counsel Michael Gehrman was an adviser at Friday's electoral board hearing. Asked whether Nance owes the city money, Gehrman said, "I will get back to you on that."

Elgin councilman John Steffen -- the most senior council member not running for office in April -- and Elgin City Clerk Kim Dewis are also on the board. Gehrman also didn't immediately know Friday who would replace Kaptain.

In his response, Nance said the electoral board failed to serve him a copy of the objections in a timely fashion, thus violating his due process. Nance said he should have been served no later than noon Wednesday but that a courier brought documents to his house at 6:05 p.m. Thursday.

Nance and his wife, Bettie, owned the now-closed Anthony's Jazz Club and Restaurant in downtown Elgin, and filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against Schock and other city officials alleging they conspired to close the business because they are black. The club opened in 2003; in 2004, the city's liquor commission -- then headed by Shock -- revoked its liquor license, but that ruling was overturned by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.

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