Buffalo Grove trustee candidate Magati stays on ballot

Buffalo Grove's electoral board has upheld the candidacy of Gowri Magati, who is running for a village trustee seat in the April 6 election.

Former Trustee Jeffrey Berman had challenged Magati's candidacy, claiming irregularities in her nominating petition. Among his arguments, supported by affidavits and testimony from one of the circulators, were that signatures were not signed in Magati's presence, although she signed a statement to the contrary.

In one example, Berman showed Magati collected signatures by email rather than in person and signed the petition certifying they were signed in her presence.

The electoral board -- Village President Beverly Sussman, Village Clerk Janet Sirabian and attorney Laura Jacksack -- supported Berman's claims to the extent it rejected five pages of signatures of her nominating petition.

However, that did not amount to enough signatures to toss Magati off the ballot.

Berman presented other testimony that was not admitted by the electoral board that showed irregularities with the signatures.

Friday's vote formalized a decision made Wednesday by the electoral board. Sirabian voted with the other two on the panel Friday to accept the final decision, but she read into the record a blistering criticism of Magati's nominating petition.

"I just want to say that I believe that the testimony of the candidate was not credible. I believe there was a proven pattern of falsities in the petition and the falsities continued at the hearing. I would have sustained the objection on that basis," she said.

Berman was not present at Friday's hearing, and neither Magati nor her attorney, Matthew Flamm, delivered a statement.

However, after the hearing, Magati said the board's decision has "proved that justice has prevailed. I might have made a couple of mistakes, but there is no pattern of fraud. The board noticed that in my hearing."

Magati is one of five candidates running for three trustee seats. The others are incumbents Joanne Johnson, Andrew Stein and Lester Ottenheimer III and challenger Michael Terson.

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