Lake County Democrats moving to oust Link ahead of his schedule

Lake County Democrats, unhappy with party Chair Terry Link's plan to wait until Sept. 15 to step down in the wake of a federal tax evasion charge, have called a special meeting next week to remove him from the post sooner.

The scheduling of the Aug. 31 meeting comes after more than a dozen top county Democrats last week demanded that Link resign immediately. Among them were U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, state Sen. Julie Morrison, Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg and Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart.

"Terry promised that his resignation would occur much earlier this summer," an announcement of the special meeting reads. "The conveners of this meeting find this delay unacceptable in the midst of an epic election battle to defeat Donald Trump and his Republican enablers."

Link did not return a call for comment Sunday. In an email Thursday announcing his plan, Link wrote that his pending resignation is unrelated to the federal allegations and that "there is a lot more to the story" regarding the charge.

The tax evasion charge, filed Aug, 13, accuses the longtime state lawmaker of reporting a total income of $264,450 in 2016, even though he knew his income "substantially exceeded that amount."

Link, of Indian Creek, has served as the county Democratic chairman since 1992 and has represented the 30th Senate District since 1997. He has not announced plans to resign his Senate seat.

However, the timing of Link's departure from party leadership matters if he also resigns from the Senate. Under state law, if Link were to give up the Senate seat before Sept. 11, the post would go up for election Nov. 3. If he were to resign after Sept. 11, his successor would be chosen by party leaders, including himself.

According to the announcement of the Aug. 31 special meeting, more than 60% Lake County Democratic precinct committeepersons called for the session. The meeting, to be held in a Deer Park home, is open only to elected and appointed precinct committeepersons.

"As we approach the most important election of our lifetimes, it is critical that we harness our energy to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and elect even more Democrats throughout Lake County," the announcement reads. "To do that, we need to have leadership that is committed to, and in a position to, support our candidates and encourage all Democrats to vote."

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