River Forest Trustee: I didn't sign referendum petition

Dwyer files complaint, alleging his, wife's signatures forged

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By Deborah Kadin

Contributing reporter

A River Forest trustee who is a vocal opponent of allowing a referendum on a village-township merger has told the state election officials that both his and his wife's signatures were forged on petitions seeking to place an advisory question on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Tom Dwyer, who sent the letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections on Wednesday, said he also would file an objection with the local election board and a criminal complaint with River Forest police.

Copies of the petitions were also attached to the letter, which was sent to the state board's executive director.

Petitions containing 455 signatures — far more than the requisite number needed to place a question on the ballot — were filed at River Forest Village Hall before Monday's 5 p.m. deadline.

If the local election board, which will meet later this month, upholds his objections, the Dwyers' signatures would be removed from the petition; it would not invalidate the entire sheet.

Dwyer said he received copies of the petitions, which also were sent to the other trustees and Village President Catherine Adduci. The only other trustee's name to appear on any of the signature sheets was Tom Cargie, who was one of about a dozen circulators.

Dwyer said he learned about the question at hand when he got a call from Trustee Carmela Corsini, who asked him why he signed a petition.

"She knew I was pretty outspoken about the township, and that I did not want to pursue HB 4425," which is legislation that if successful would have allowed for a binding initiative on consolidation.

"I looked at them and saw my and my wife's name," Dwyer said. "They were not our signatures."

Dwyer said he asked Village Attorney Lance Malina about his options, and Dwyer said he received some information about where the law could be found. Dwyer said he found that he could file a complaint with the state board of elections, even though he was aware the board had no enforcement authority in local elections. He said he did that only to make them aware of the situation.

Aug. 11 is the deadline to file objections to signatures. Any objections will be reviewed by the village's electoral board, which will make a determination. If the petition is certified by Village Clerk Sharon Halperin by or before the Aug. 28 deadline, it will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The advisory question would be the first of a three-step process that would, if all elements are successful, lead to consolidation between the village and township governments.

Reader Comments

7 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 8th, 2014 4:30 PM

RF Res.- I agree that somebody is screwing around; that much is obvious since Mr. Dwyer has denied authenticity. I hope, that whatever RF does on the potential referendum, the folks in your town don't end up losing needed services in any potential financial savings. Good luck to Mr. Dwyer's stand on the issue if he's right.

River Forest resident  

Posted: August 8th, 2014 2:49 PM

Still smells like a sneaky move by the Township

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 8th, 2014 2:34 PM

This isn't a big deal? The owner of the petition sheet(s) that were submitted might have some explaining to do. Every signature on that page, and maybe all pages submitted by the individual or all pages submitted for the cause should be suspicious. Somebody screwed up and tainted the honor system. What a waste of time and effort, not to mention honor.

Dwyer  

Posted: August 8th, 2014 2:34 PM

But very good reporting Deb. Keep it up.

JBK from Oak Park  

Posted: August 8th, 2014 12:43 PM

"...that the signatures of both him and his wife's signatures were forged ..." Poor writing and/or poor editing.

Barb Smith from River Forest  

Posted: August 8th, 2014 11:51 AM

How can it be a sneaky move by the Township? The petitions are a move against the Township. So adding bogus signatures would need to have been an illegal move by someone recruited for the village.

River Forest resident  

Posted: August 8th, 2014 10:59 AM

Sounds like a sneaky move by the Township.

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