Paulson withdraws from representing former Caseyville mayor Chance; Cites conflict of interest

By Steve Korris | Jul 19, 2013

Alvin Paulson of Belleville will no longer represent former Caseyville mayor George Chance in a petition for judicial review of the April 9 election.

Paulson moved to withdraw on July 5, citing a conflict of interest.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn granted the motion on July 17.

McGlynn said he expected Belleville lawyer Kevin Kaufhold to file an appearance for Chance within 14 days.

Paulson’s conflict arose through the resignation of county clerk Bob Delaney, who certified Leonard Black as mayor after a vote count on April 23.

Delaney found 576 votes for Black, 572 for Chance.

Paulson filed a petition against Delaney and Black in court on May 22, claiming Delaney counted some invalid ballots and didn’t count some valid ones.

He claimed qualified voters were denied and unqualified voters were allowed.

Paulson also alleged forgery on applications for absentee ballots.

He identified Ace and Patti Hart, Dirk Chance and James Parker as persons who submitted valid absentee ballots but couldn’t vote.

(A memo obtained by the Record supplied by Delaney indicated that Ace and Patricia Hart were considered legal residents of Florida and that their voter registration in St. Clair County would be canceled effective April 2).

Paulson identified Adam Kemp, Brandi Rensing, Sheila Williams, Lindzie Littlefield, and Blaine Milligan as persons who didn’t live in Caseyville but voted.

He asked the court to hear evidence, examine returns, fully recount all ballots, and declare Chance elected.

On June 13, assistant state’s attorney Lisa Porter filed an answer for Delaney.

Up to that point, it didn’t disturb anyone that the lawyer suing the county clerk currently works for the county as a special assistant state’s attorney.

On June 19, Delaney resigned and the legal landscape tilted.

On June 26, Black moved for an extra 30 days to answer Chance’s petition.

Village counsel Michael Gras of Belleville wrote that Delaney’s resignation frustrated his ability to assess the case by a June 27 deadline.

McGlynn moved the deadline to July 26.

Paulson assessed the case in light of Delaney’s departure, and he dropped it.

Paulson practices at a private firm but works a lot of government jobs.

He currently defends the county in a tax dispute with Scott Air Force Base Properties and a suit over a housing assistance contract.

His website identifies him as city attorney for Fairview Heights and Mascoutah.

As of election day, he was village attorney for Caseyville at $175 an hour.

He resigned on May 7, after Black took office.

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