Judge to Naperville: Return candidates to ballot
A DuPage County judge on Tuesday ordered the city of Naperville to allow two city council candidates back on the April 5 ballot.
They were among four kicked off the ballot due to what they called misleading paperwork issued by the city. In the wake of that ruling, two other candidates, forced off for the same reason, also were reinstated.
The candidates John Adair, Steve Chirico, John Krummen, and Joe McElroy learned last week they had missed a Nov. 22 deadline to file receipts showing they filled out a legally required statement of economic interest to run for office.
Chirico and Krummen took the city to court, claiming they were misled by a city-provided handout that listed the filing deadline as Dec. 20.
On Tuesday, Judge Bonnie Wheaton instructed Naperville City Clerk Pam LaFeber to certify the nominations of Chirico and Krummen. Given the ruling, an attorney for the city said, the other two candidates will be certified, as well.
"This situation was created by a mistake on the part of Naperville," Wheaton said.
All four candidates filed the necessary statements indicating any financial interest they might have in seeking office. But they said they did not file receipts showing they had filled out the paperwork in time because of a "candidate checklist" that listed Dec. 20 as the deadline.
The checklist, created by the DuPage County Election Commission, was accurate for most parts of the county, but not for municipalities such as Naperville where a primary election would be possible, officials said.
After Tuesday's ruling, both Chirico and Krummen said they were relieved to be back in the race.
"I hold no ill will toward anyone," Krummen said. "It was just a paperwork snafu."
Chirico said he didn't want to take the case to court but had few other options. "It was worth fighting for," he said.
Naperville City Attorney Margo Ely said officials felt comfortable certifying the remaining two candidates after the judge's decision. Without the ruling, she said, the city had no choice but to follow the formal election procedure.
"We believe the same policy applies," she said.
With the foursome back on the ballot, the city council election again becomes a 12-way race for four seats.
The other eight candidates, who filed their statements on time, are incumbents Robert Fieseler, Richard Furstenau and Grant Wehrli and challengers Wayne Floegel, Ben Gross, Patricia Gustin, Charles Schneider and Tiffany Stephens.