Reporting Lisa Fielding
CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel himself is expected to be the first witness Tuesday morning as he tries to prove he was still a resident in Chicago despite living in Washington for the past two years.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine says a Monday session to set ground rules for the showdown suggest there will be few surprises.
Emanuel’s wife won’t have to testify. The challengers wanted a crack at notoriously media-shy Amy Rule, but Emanuel’s attorneys argued there was no reason to make her fly in from Washington to provide information they already had or could get from her husband.
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Chicago Board of Elections hearing examiner Joseph Morris ruled that she would simply duplicate Emanuel’s testimony.
“I do pay property taxes here, I am a voter for the city of Chicago, and it never crossed my mind answering President Obama’s request would somehow become what it’s become here in the board of elections,” Emanuel said in a radio interview over the weekend.
Emanuel will be greeted Tuesday by what one of the challengers had called “a circus.”
The side show could be more entertaining than the main event, which will feature documents like Emanuel’s 2009 tax return, where he checked the box “part-time resident.”
He recently amended the return, removing the check mark after he returned to run for mayor. Emanuel, who called it a mistake, continued to pay Illinois state income tax while he was in Washington.
“Illinois law requires that if you’re working somewhere else and you still have property here, you still pay them,” says attorney Burt Odelson, who is among those challenging Emanuel’s ability to run for mayor.
Nothing in the 3-inch-high stack of court filings and evidence indicates anything but the Emanuels’ intent to return to Chicago.
Still, nothing is expected to change the fundamental question: Did Rahm Emanuel forfeit his right to run for mayor by moving to Washington temporarily to serve President Obama as chief of staff?