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Article updated: 6/21/2013 9:12 AM

Herrmann campaign got cash from Island Lake's lawyers, records show

By Russell Lissau

In the week before former Island Lake Mayor Debbie Herrmann lost her re-election bid in April, the lawyers then representing the town dumped $2,500 into her campaign coffers, new state records show.

The checks from the Ancel Glink law firm and two of its staffers represented a large chucnk of the $5,950 in outside donations Herrmann's United for Progress committee received during the campaign's final month, according to the group's latest state campaign disclosure report.

Ancel Glink's bills were a big issue during the election. Herrmann's rival, Charles Amrich, said the town was paying the firm too much for legal services, which had cost Island Lake hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years.

After Amrich trounced Herrmann in the election, the firm quit before it could be fired.

The firm's donations were detailed on the United for Progress slate's final disclosure report. The document, which was completed June 1, covers donations and spending going back to March.

Amrich's For the People slate hasn't yet filed its second-quarter disclosure report. It's due July 15, and it must cover any transactions made through June 30.

Municipal candidates who raise or spend at least $3,000 file quarterly financial reports with the elections board. They must also file individual reports for donations of $1,000 or more.

Donations of less than $150 do not need to be itemized.

The documents are public and viewable online at elections.state.il.us.

The other members of Herrmann's slate were incumbent Clerk Connie Mascillino and trustee hopefuls Josh Rohde, Ken Nitz and Ed McGinty.

All five lost to Amrich and his team of candidates. Amrich's running mates were clerk candidate Teresa Ponio and trustee candidates Mark Beeson, Keith Johns and Tony Sciarrone.

The United for Progress slate reported three donations tied to Ancel Glink:

Attorney Julie Tappendorf gave $775.

Firm President Robert K. Bush gave $775.

The firm itself gave $950.

The bulk of the other donations included in United for Progress' final report came from three labor unions, including one representing village employees. Those checks totaled $1,250, records show.

Herrmann gave nearly $2,899 to the campaign, too. That check was written June 1 and covered whatever outstanding expenses the campaign had at that time.

The committee ceased operations without a penny in savings, having spent nearly $13,193 during the quarter, records show.

The money went to purchase signs, postage, printing material and other items, the report indicates.

Lawyers have contributed to Amrich's campaign, too.

His slate's first-quarter report noted $8,500 in donated legal services from the Zukowski, Rogers, Flood and McArdle firm. Amrich and the board hired that firm to represent the village the night he took office.

Attorney David McArdle was one of the lawyers who represented Amrich in his successful legal fight to stay on the ballot this year. McArdle also briefly represented a group of trustees who battled Herrmann in the boardroom and in court in 2011.

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