Hearing Officer To Issue Decision On Emanuel

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.

  • ken

    If Burton Odelson was hired by the Minnesota Vikings, he would have refused to play that game too. He is afraid of a “fair fight” and thinks the City will be better off with a second rate Mayor. Who could doubt the wisdom of, in these economic times, running on a paltform to use the City’s money not for the best bidder on contracts, but for the best color of the bidders. Isn’t that what Odelson is backing too?

  • Tom

    Rahm will be Chicago’s next Mayor – Chicagoans will have more of the same machine politics and inside dealings – if not even more insidious. This guy just reeks of sinister agendas. Despite the hard work of those trying to keep this man off the ticket, he has worked the system just like his predecessors throughout this corrupt state.

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