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Hearing Officer To Issue Decision On Emanuel

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Rahm Emanuel

Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel answers questions about his residency. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Tuesday could be a critical day for Rahm Emanuel’s bid to become mayor of Chicago.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, after a grueling 12 hours of testimony by Emanuel and days of hearing from challengers, Chicago Board of Elections hearing officer Joseph Morris is due to issue his recommendation Tuesday on whether Emanuel should be on the February ballot.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger Reports

Morris’ recommendation then goes to the three-member Board of Election commissioners Thursday.

Regardless of the board’s ruling, the challenge is likely to end up in the courts, probably going all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court before it is settled.

Election attorney Burton Odelson is leading the challenge against Emanuel’s candidacy. Opponents claim that Emanuel is ineligible to run for mayor because he didn’t live in Chicago for a year before the election, but instead lived in Washington, D.C., serving as chief of staff to President Barack Obama.

State election law does not say absolutely no one can run for mayor without living in the city for a year before an election. It says “no elector or spouse shall be deemed to have lost his or her residence … by reason of his or her absence on business of the United States, or of this State.”

Challengers argue that section deals with the right to vote, not to run for office. They say the state municipal code offers only one valid excuse for not living here: active-duty military service.

A decision on the challenges is expected before the Feb. 22 election.

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