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Stein Objects to Trustee Candidate’s Petition

Buffalo Grove Trustee Andy Stein, who is running for a four-year term on the April 2013 ballot, has filed an objection to Jeff Battinus’ candidacy.

A Buffalo Grove trustee running for re-election filed an objection Wednesday to another candidate’s petition, saying Jeffrey Battinus did not file all of the required paperwork needed to place his name on the April 9 ballot.

Andy Stein, who also filed for candidacy, challenged Battinus on Jan. 2 after noticing that his statement of economic interests was missing. Candidates are required to submit the form during the election filing period. The State Board of Elections’ 2013 candidate guide outlines all paperwork requirements and filing deadlines. 

“The statement [of economic interests receipt] must be filed during the calendar year in which the nominating petitions are filed. While the receipt need not accompany the nominating petitions at the time of filing, it must be filed no later than 5:00 p.m. on the last day for filing the petitions,” the guide states.

Filing for the 2013 municipal election ended Dec. 26. Battinus announced on his “Elect Jeff Battinus” Facebook page that his filed his paperwork Dec. 17.

On the afternoon of Jan. 2, the Cook County clerk’s office did not have a statement of economic interests on file for Battinus, spokeswoman Courtney Greve said. However, Buffalo Grove’s deputy village clerk, Jane Olson, said she received a copy of the statement Wednesday at Village Hall. Battinus confirmed that he filed the form with the county that day.

“As far as the form itself, I can’t speak to it,” said Battinus, who said his attorney is looking into the matter. “It was a technicality on my part, which I’ll have to be accountable for.”

While the form is listed among the requirements for local election candidates, failure to submit it would not prevent one from running unless someone files an objection and that objection is upheld.

“It’s disappointing that he’s opposed to allowing the voters of Buffalo Grove to actually have a choice,” Battinus said. “What Andy Stein is doing is trying to have the courts decide the election instead of having the people of Buffalo Grove decide it.”

Voters will elect three trustees this spring. If Battinus is removed from the ballot, three candidates will remain. In addition to Stein and Battinus, Beverly Sussman and Lester Ottenheimer — two other current trustees — filed to run in the election.

Stein said he reviewed the paperwork filed by all of the candidates.

“After much careful consideration I decided that I must take this action to protect the integrity of the election process,” he wrote in an email to Patch. “This failure by Mr. Battinus is not just a clerical error. This is part of the State Election statute that was put in place to try and give the voters some assurance that elected officials do not have personal economic interests in the decisions they make for the residents. It is important that we as public officials, potential or existing, do everything we can to uphold the trust placed in us. That includes being certain that a critical, required, document be properly filled out and filed to ask for the votes of our fellow residents.”

"I find it disingenuous that when somebody does something wrong, they try to shift the blame," Stein said in response to Battinus' comment. "If anyone deprived the residents of Buffalo Grove of a choice, it was him when he didn't follow the rules."

Stein said he called Battinus Jan. 1 to alert him that someone was planning to file an objection. He did not disclose that he was the objector, and he said he “suggested that [Battinus] consider withdrawing from the election instead of going through the process.” 

That process includes a review with Buffalo Grove’s electoral board, which is made up of Village President Jeff Braiman, Village Clerk Janet Sirabian and Jeff Berman, the longest-serving trustee. If the board finds fault with Battinus’ paperwork, Battinus has the option of appealing its decision with the Cook County Circuit Court.

Battinus said he won’t withdraw from the race.

“I will fight it,” Battinus said. “If I’m unsuccessful, I’ll come back another year. I want to serve my community.”

chuck posniak January 05, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Alan I understand that the petition packets potential candidates are given is specific that the candidates are responsible for making sure everything is complete. The clerk is only responsible for ACCEPTING the paperwork. I would hope that a trustee would never be this careless with village business.
Jeff Battinus January 05, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Please visit the Elect Jeff Battinus Facebook page to review the submitted paperwork when Jeff Battinus' candidate petitions were filed on December 17th. This form was completed by and confirmed (signed off) by the Village Clerk's office. This states that the Cook County Statement of Economic Interest was received by the Village. This was submitted 9 days prior to the filing deadline, with ample time to resubmit the candidate packet should an error have been identified and of course, this would have been done.
chuck posniak January 05, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Jeff I'm sorry you created this problem for yourself, but does the following look familiar? "It is the responsibility of the candidate to be sure petitions and related forms are in order. Please remember that a 2012 Statement of Economic Interest must be filed with the COOK County Clerk by the close of business on December 24, 2012. " You received it in your packet. And it couldn't be any clearer as to what needed to be done and whose responsibilty it was. Checkmate. I don't know you, but I urge you to get involved; start coming to board meetings; man-up and withdraw; then do it right next time.
BG2013 January 06, 2013 at 01:53 AM
Look at your own paperwork. The economic interest filing is not checked off. You blew it, admit it.
Teddy W January 06, 2013 at 02:53 AM
As far as I am concerned, the whole trustee board blows. We have the cream of the crap sitting as trustees, I like the way Stein decided to call Jeff and tell him to withdraw. If I were Jeff I would say "screw you". I know for a FACT that trustees call potential candidates and urge them to withdraw. I will stop short of calling it a threat, but there is intimidation. I wish Stein were honest and say, "hell yea I want him out of the election race". Instead he says he just wants to hold up the judicial process. That is so fake. Most people would rather run against nobody, just be honest.

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