Sprague’s record in St. Clair Co. ballot battles shows three straight wins

By Record News | Feb 7, 2017

St. Clair County Democrat party chairman Robert Sprague has won three straight ballot battles as counsel for candidates at the courthouse.  

St. Clair County Democrat party chairman Robert Sprague has won three straight ballot battles as counsel for candidates at the courthouse.  

Recent rulings in favor of his candidates in East St. Louis and Alorton followed a December ruling for his candidates in Washington Park.  

In the East St. Louis case, Associate Judge Christopher Kolker ruled in favor of school board candidates Lonzo Greenwood and Kinnis Williams on Feb. 3.  

Kolker affirmed the county electoral board, which denied objections from LaKeisha Adams of East St. Louis in December.  

The electoral board included State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, County Clerk Thomas Holbrook, and Circuit Clerk Kahalah Clay.  

Adams sued them on Jan. 6, claiming they denied her objections “despite evidence of widespread malfeasance.”  

On her behalf, Phillip Baldwin of Granite City wrote that she testified that her signature was forged.  

He wrote that she provided expert witness testimony challenging the validity of numerous signatures.  

Sprague entered an appearance for Greenwood and Williams as respondents, and he moved to substitute Circuit Judge Robert LeChien.  

In Illinois, any party can substitute a judge once without cause, if the judge has not made a substantive ruling.  

LeChien granted the motion, and Chief Judge Andrew Gleeson assigned Kolker.  

On Feb. 1, Kelly, Holbrook, and Clay moved to dismiss the suit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.  

Assistant State’s Attorney Lisa Porter wrote that Adams failed to serve the suit by certified or registered mail as required by statute.  

Kolker held a hearing on Feb. 3, and dismissed the suit.  

In the Alorton case, on Feb. 1, Kolker ruled that candidates of the McCall Team Party should appear on the April 4 ballot.  

He reversed the Alorton electoral board, which sustained objections to Joann Reed, Malcolm Henderson, Elesia Golliday-Brown, Leo Stewart, and Ferlandas Smith.  

Village clerk Tremylla Johnson and trustee Dwight Baxton voted against the McCall Team on the electoral board, and Mayor Kenneth Chatman dissented.  

The source of the objection against the McCall Team, Devione Kidd, allegedly committed a felony ballot violation in 2015.  

Circuit Judge Jan Fiss has set a hearing for Kidd on April 20.   

The Washington Park case stands in Sprague’s favor but hasn’t ended.  

On Dec. 30, Circuit Judge Robert Haida signed a “general administrative order” designating citizen Joan McIntosh as electoral board member and chairwoman.  

That left no place for village president Ann Rodgers, who had planned to lead an electoral board meeting on Jan. 4.  

Instead, the McIntosh board sustained objections against Rodgers and trustee candidates Shawn Newell, Marcus Henderson, Toni Whittaker and Herod Hill.  

The McIntosh board denied an objection that Newell filed against Rodgers’s opponent, village clerk Rickie Thomas.  

On Jan. 17, Rodgers and the trustee candidates petitioned for judicial review.  

Eric Evans of Granite City wrote for them that a few weeks earlier, Thomas had tried to take control of the village board and install Sprague as village attorney.  

Evans wrote that the electoral board disqualified him as counsel for Rodgers on a motion from Sprague as Thomas’s attorney.  

He wrote that their action deprived Rodgers of due process.  

As of Feb. 6, no one had set a hearing on the petition.     

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