Judge puts New Lenox School Board member back on ballot
By Erin Gallagher Correspondent January 30, 2013 2:48PM
Updated: March 2, 2013 11:38AM
New Lenox School Board member Kathy Miller is back on the April ballot.
However, the case is not closed. Miller’s attorneys amended her complaint to include a civil rights violation, which the judge approved.
“I’m still doing some research on that, but I will say the matter isn’t closed,” Miller said. “I don’t want to hurt the school district any more, that is a huge consideration.”
Judge John Anderson ruled that school electoral board members Sue Smith and Maureen Broderick erred in denying Miller a chance at re-election over a clerical error.
The judge confirmed that the school district’s attorney, Paul Millichap, had advised Smith and Broderick of case law siding with Miller. Despite Millichap’s advice, Smith and Broderick voted against Miller.
“I didn’t know what they were talking about,” Smith said. “Maureen was throwing case law out and the lawyer was throwing case law out. I’m not going to comment on that right now, I’m not a lawyer.”
The controversy began when Broderick alone went to the district office, viewed the petitions, and announced to staff that she would return with two objections. Upon return, she carried two documents, one of which she signed objecting to Thomas Hottinger. The second, signed by Nicole Sanders, objected to Miller.
The two objections are nearly identical, with exact typos and grammatical errors. The judge agreed they were strikingly similar.
Broderick then withdrew her objection to Hottinger, which allowed her to remain on the three-member electoral board. Board President Nick DiSandro was the third member and sided with Miller.
“There was some sort of agenda in my opinion, what it was, I don’t know,” Miller said.
As of the Jan. 16 board meeting, the district approximated attorney fees and costs surrounding the two objections to be $4,000. That did not include Monday’s hearing.
Miller paid for her own attorneys, and could not guess what the bill will be.
“My main concern was I felt it was tarnishing my reputation,” she said. “If I did not do anything, it would be made to appear I did something wrong.”
Broderick did not return calls for an interview.