New Lenox school board President Nick DiSandro said Monday that board member Maureen Broderick's involvement in objecting to fellow member Kathy Miller's election petition, then voting to kick Miller off the ballot, was politically motivated and embarrassing.
In a press conference Monday afternoon at the District 122 administrative office, DiSandro said that on behalf of New Lenox School District 122 Board of Education that he has contacted the Will County State's Attorney's Office, the Will County Regional Superintendent's Office and the Illinois State Board of Education in regard to a matter he refers to as "dirty" on Broderick's part.
"Kathy's right to due process was taken away from her," DiSandro said. "She didn't get a right to a fair hearing."
On Jan. 11, Miller was kicked off the ballot after the district's Electoral Board, which includes Broderick, voted 2-1 to invalidate Miller's nominating petition. Broderick was one of the two votes, with the other being board member Sue Smith.
At the press conference DiSandro provided the details of a phone conversation with Broderick he had on Jan. 3, the day the objection to Miller's petition was filed.
DiSandro said Broderick reviewed the petitions of those who filed for the April 2013 school board election and filed objections to the documents turned in by Miller, an incumbent, and Thomas Hottinger.
"She wrote both statements but she did not sign (the one against Miller)," DiSandro said.
That objection was signed by New Lenox's Nikki Sanders, who never viewed the petition. DiSandro said Broderick didn't sign the objection against Miller, because she wanted to remain seated on the Electoral Board. She also withdrew her objection to Hottinger's petition so she could sit on the board.
When asked to respond to DiSandro's accusations, Broderick said, "I never told him I wrote it. I never told him that at all. I'm extremely upset that this whole thing is coming to bite me. The main focus is on me now; it should be on Miller. I had nothing to do with what he is alleging that I did."
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Addressing the withdrawal of her objection to Hottinger, Broderick said, (DiSandro) called me to withdraw the objection to Hottinger so that I could sit on that board."
DiSandro said he told Broderick she should recuse herself from the hearing. He said that Broderick responded that she wanted to remain on the Electoral Board: '"It's legal, I can.' And she's right. Legally she can. I spoke with the school district's attorney, and he said, "legally she could.'"
"However, I don't believe that anyone should be judge, jury and executioner," DiSandro said.
Supt. Michael Sass announced at the press conference that Broderick told him on Jan. 3 that she took pictures of the documents with her cell phone.
"In my opinion, it's disgusting; it's sad. ... She put me in a horrible position," DiSandro said. "Speaking on behalf of the board, we're embarrassed."
The Electoral Board hearing has cost the district thousands of dollars, DiSandro said, though he didn't have a specific amount on hand Monday.
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