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Morris candidates contend they properly submitted paperwork

MORRIS – Two people who want to run for Morris public offices in the April 2015 election who have had their petitions challenged testified Wednesday that they properly submitted their paperwork.

Republican Doug Hayse, who is running for Second Ward alderman, and Republican Mary Callahan, who is running for city clerk, testified during a special meeting of the Municipal Officers Electoral Board of the City to hear objections against their petitions.

Kristan Smolenski, of Morris, filed an objection against Hayse and David Perry of Morris against Callahan, both for improper fastening of petition sheets. Both petitioners are represented by attorney Michael Olewinski; Robert Geiger represented Hayse and Callahan.

The electoral board and hearing officer James Harvey of Joliet heard testimony from Beth Walker, deputy city clerk; Carol Adair, city clerk, and Hayse during the opening case against Hayse.

Walker testified she received the papers from Hayse toward the end of the day and typed a receipt for him. She stated the papers were numbered but were not fastened. After being recalled later during the hearing, she said that the pages were not fastened together when they were handed to her, but she can’t recall when Hayse walked in if they were fastened together.

Hayse said he used a black clip binder to fasten his papers together, and noted he researched how to file the petitions by talking to a past clerk and by reading an electoral website.

A still image from video taken in City Hall shows Hayse entering the clerk area and being greeted by Walker. Hayse contends the image shows a black clip on the paperwork.

After the first case adjourned for the day, the case against Mary Callahan was opened.

Adair testified she was called by Walker and told Callahan was there to turn in her petition. She said Callahan carried the papers in her right hand and they were not fastened together.

Geiger questioned Adair why she chose to take the petition from the person who would be running against her.

“As city clerk, that is my job,” Adair said.

Olewinski asked Adair if she gave Callahan a receipt for her petition, which is required by law.

Adair testified she did not give the receipt and other required paperwork at the time the petition was turned in, but noted she sent it by certified mail after leaving messages for Callahan stating she forgot to give them to her.

“She was out the door before she finished her sentence,” Adair said.

Callahan testified she submitted the paperwork with a blue paper clip that was vinyl coated because she feels they are the best to keep the papers secure.

She said Adair took the paper clip off the documents when she made copies. She said Adair stapled the copies and handed back the paper clip with the copies, so she assumed Adair stapled the submission, as well.

Olewinski also alleges the petition was not numbered, as required by law.

“You did not number the pages did you?” Olewinski asked Callahan.

She responded, “No, apparently not.”

Hayse is running in the Feb. 24 primary election against Second Ward Republican incumbent Julian Houston. Callahan is running against incumbent Adair, also a Republican.

Both attorneys agreed to continue the hearings of both cases to 4 p.m. Thursday at Morris City Hall.

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