Ex-trustee once banned from library objects to 5 candidates
Former Gail Borden Public Library Trustee Randy Hopp -- who must check in with security to enter the library -- is not only running for a seat on the library board but is trying to have five other candidates tossed from the ballot.
If Hopp's objections to the candidates' nominating petitions are upheld by a Kane County electoral board, only three candidates, including Hopp, would remain on the ballot for four open seats.
Hopp filed objections against the petitions submitted by incumbents Jean Bednar, Carlos Chavez and Herb Gross, and challengers Tiffany Henderson and Bonifacio Mondragon. All live in Elgin except Henderson, who lives in South Elgin.
Also running in the April election are Donna Kline and former board member Penny Wegman.
For nearly four years until 2013, Hopp was banned from the library, other than for board meetings, after staff members complained of harassing behavior. Now, he must check in with security when he enters the main library but does not have access to the Rakow branch, library spokeswoman Denise Raleigh said.
Hopp claims that Bednar, the current board president, submitted an insufficient number of signatures.
Library election law states that nominating petitions must contain signatures equal to either 2 percent of ballots cast in the last consolidated election -- which was 8,112 for the Gail Borden Public Library district in 2013 -- or 50 signatures, whichever is less.
Bednar's nominating petitions include 70 signatures, but Hopp claims that 32 of those are invalid for reasons such as listing incomplete addresses and petitioners not being registered to vote at the addresses listed.
He also claimed that Henderson and Mondragon failed to file an economic interest statement, and that Chavez and Gross failed to properly number their petition sheets.
"That's the law," Hopp said about the number issue. "It is very irrational, but the law is very 'touchy-touchy' about numbering petitions."
Gross said his petition contains 193 signatures and he believes he'll survive the challenge.
"The reason that Randy is doing this is because he knows that, with his record, he'd never be elected," Gross said.
Not filing an economic interest statement is "the easiest kill of the bunch," Hopp said.
Mondragon said he filed the statement with the library, but not with Kane County. "I just want to serve my community and the library. I hope they understand that."
Mondragon also objected to Hopp characterizing him as "mocking the system" in his objection. "I strongly believe he's the one mocking the system because he's so afraid to lose."
Chavez declined to comment. Bednar and Henderson didn't return requests for comment.
The Kane County electoral board will hold hearings about the objections on Monday morning and will cast a ruling Thursday, said Suzanne Fahnestock, director of elections for Kane County.
Hopp went through some legal woes after he was charged with hitting his elderly father in 2011. Kane County prosecutors dismissed the charges after his father passed away and his mother recanted her testimony.
Hopp also spent time in an institution in summer 2012 after he was found unfit for trial.