The three-member Maywood Electoral Board during a hearing last Wednesday, December 10. Photo by Michael Romain for the Village Free Press.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 || By Michael Romain || Updated: 12/19/14 || 10:49 PM
The objections filed by Darius Johnson against former mayor Henderson Yarbrough, District 209 board member Readith Ester and sitting trustee Ron Rivers — all of whom are running on the same slate to contest the three trustee seats that are open in next year’s April election — were dismissed yesterday by a 3-member local electoral board.
The board, which comprised Mayor Edwenna Perkins, Village Clerk Viola Mims and Trustee Audrey Jaycox, voted 2-1 to dismiss all three objections, with Mayor Perkins the only nay vote. The objector has five days to file appeals, if he chooses to do so.
Johnson, who was represented by attorney Doug Ibendahl, objected to the three candidacies based on the claim that they still owed debts to the Village of Maywood stemming from their times in office. At a board hearing last Wednesday, December 10, Ibendahl said that each candidate owed debts relating to travel expenses. In Yarbrough’s case, he was alleged to have taken his wife, Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough, on trips that were funded by taxpayer money without having reimbursed the village for the expenses.
Scott Erdman, the attorney for the three candidates, claimed that a village letter from Maywood’s finance department claiming that the candidates owed no outstanding debts to the village was sufficient to strike the objections. In addition, Erdman said that, even if they were in arrears, state law had been recently changed such that candidates who owe municipal debts at the time of their candidacies should not be prohibited from seeking office.
So far, Yarbrough, Rivers and Ester have been the only candidates running for trustee in next year’s election to be challenged. All candidates running for the trustee positions in the April 7, 2015, consolidated election have until Monday, December 22, to turn in their petitions. The last day to file objections is Tuesday, December 30. VFP
Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled the last name of Readith Ester and provided the wrong deadline for petition filings. The article has since been updated.