Des Plaines alderman says inclusion of city email address on campaign flyer was an error

A recent flyer promoting Des Plaines Alderman Carla Brookman's candidacy in the upcoming election featured her city email address and telephone number - an apparent legal violation.

Both state law and the Des Plaines municipal code forbid public resources from being used on political campaigns.

Brookman, who's running for reelection in the 5th Ward, called the inclusion of that information "an error." She said the person who designed the advertisement accidentally included the city contact information.

Brookman estimated she and some volunteers distributed less than 500 of the flyers within the last week or so before being alerted to the error. Brookman said she subsequently destroyed - or ordered destroyed - about 4,000 of the flyers.

"The second I was notified, I corrected it," said Brookman, who has served on the council since 2017 and also was on the panel from 1997 to 2009.

The Illinois Constitution says "public funds, property or credit shall be used only for public purposes." That includes email accounts and telephones.

Additionally, Des Plaines city code forbids city officials from using "city equipment or facilities to campaign for any candidate for any office."

Brookman has reprinted the flyers - touting Daily Herald endorsements from this election cycle and from 2001 - with a personal email address and phone number. The new flyers will be hand-delivered to voters' homes starting this weekend, Brookman said.

Brookman is being challenged by internal bank auditor Jennifer Nutley in the April 6 election. Nutley said she was aware of the mailer but declined to comment.

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