McDade filed her appeal on Friday. (WJBC file photo)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - Ward 5 Alderman Jennifer McDade has officially filed her appeal of the Bloomington Election Commission's decision to remove her from the April ballot.
McDade is appealing through the McLean County Circuit Court. Her opposition is Matthew Koetters.
"I think the board's decision was obviously correct," said Koetters. "They said that she didn't follow the law, and the statute is pretty clear on what is needed for these petitions and she failed to do so."
McDade had a case management hearing with the judge on Friday afternoon. She claims the election commission violated the Open Meetings Act by not allowing her to see deliberations on the decision or provide written records of the closed session.
"We question not only the decision to take the choice away from the voters, but we question the very method in which business was conducted," said McDade. "It's very concerning to me that a decision to take a candidate off the ballot would be done without regard for fundamental principals that guide the public process."
Her opponent said it doesn't matter.
"The petitions are measured against what is labeled in the statute and what the law is, and it doesn't matter what other people do," said Koetters. "When I've been talking with people who have been asking, I equate it to getting a speeding ticket. You can't go before a judge and claim everybody does it so you don't deserve the ticket. It doesn't work that way."
Koetters is confident his side will proove correct. McDade believes the judge will point out the real errors in this case. As an attorney himself in the Public Defender's office, Koetters expects a quick turnaround decision. McDade said a timetable will likely be known this week.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.