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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26143
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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We believe there was fraud involved by a committee and a board

Resolved Question:

We believe there was fraud involved by a committee and a board of education for a referendum which recently passed by 3 votes approving $32,000,000 for a new high school which puts an extreme economic burden on property owners in our small town. Should I contact Illinois Attorney General with a complaint? Absentee ballots were just processed on April 23rd. Can't afford an attorney
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

You have an uphill battle if the referendum was passed by the electorate.

You would have to prove fraud on the part of the school board and prove that the fraud led to the passage of the referendum. Then you would have to convince a judge to grant an injunction in order to block the enforcement of the referendum.

You can certainly contact the Attorney General. They have the power to investigate.

But you may want to start more local.

You have, i expect, elected representatives in the town and in the county.

You also have state elected representatives.

I would start there.

Ideally you would want to convince the state elected representative (state congress) of the fraud. They will likely have a professional relationship with the State AG. I recommend starting with the town and the county elected representatives, since if you can convince them, and they can convince the state congressional representative, then you stand a better chance of convincing the AG to engage.

Again, the state AG has the power to investigate this and, if the investigation supports fraud, to file a motion with the county court to halt enforcement of the referendum. But I suspect the tough part may be to convince the AG to step into this in the first place.

That is where your local elected officials may be able to assist.





Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Our state representative lives in this town. He supported the referendum and he got a special permission from Gov. Quinn to allow the bond issue to be amortized over 30 years instead of the usual 20 years in order to bring the property tax to the lowest possible amount. My 10 yr old granddaughter will be 40 years old before the new school is paid for. The local attorney who has been hired for the discovery recount signed a petition in favor of a new school. Nobody local wants to be the bad guy. I have documentation, such as open forums, reports of illegal activity by committee & board. We are a democrat majority in this town & state rep & senator very good friends with IL Atty General, democrat Lisa Madigan.


 


 

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ma'am

Then I would go to the AG directly.

If you can get the county commissioner to assist, or even your city council? That can help...but it certainly is not required.

And I would put this into a "package"

You want to make this "easy to understand on paper" if you can. That way you can present to the AG and they can have their staff review it.

If you can make a compelling case on paper, including documents to support your position...you may well be able to convince the AG to engage. I mean, if there is election fraud? That is one area the AG can and will step in to correct...you just need to convince them that there is something here to investigate.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

There is a form online to submit to AG at the Consumer Fraud Bureau. Is this the form I should use? Or should I just compose an "easy to read" letter with specific allegations? On the online form, I have to allow the AG to send the complaint to the "business complained about" and my signature would be disclosed. I would prefer the AG just do her job and investigate without my name brought into the situation. I don't need retaliation from the Board or School against my grandchildren. Thanks,

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
If you have documents to support your allegations, then I would put this into a package (with the supporting documents referenced in the package)

You can also send this without providing contact information...but the package will likely have more credibility if you put your name behind it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am aware that the School Board and School cannot use their equipment or facilities to support the referendum. I know they must remain neutral in the request and not be promoting the new school; they can only use the old school to point out the problems & deficiencies of old school. Election judges cannot do electioneering at the polls. If there is a committee, they must be registered if they are spending or collecting donations of over $3,000. Political ads must be disclosed as a "paid political ad". I have read about school referendums and do's & don'ts. But the legal language is difficult. Are there any other things I should be looking for to enhance my case of fraud (besides obvious lies they have told and the things I have mentioned? Thanks.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
I agree with everything you state.

The school board can not use their facilities to support a particular political cause.

And judges can not politic at the polls

The key is to "keep it simple"

You mention you have documents to support...that is great, you want to center your arguments around the supporting documents and give the AG a reason to investigate further.

You do not need to be a lawyer to do this...you simply need to show the AG that there was fraud and it caused the election to be unfair.

P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26143
Experience: 16 yrs. of trial experience
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