John Toscas stays on Worth Township ballot
A three-person electoral board in Worth Township on Monday refused to declare township Assessor John Toscas ineligible to run for re-election despite the fact he’s also running for mayor of Crestwood, a village in the township.
An objection to Toscas’ candidacy argued that should he be elected mayor in Crestwood, where he currently serves as trustee, and is re-elected as assessor, he could potentially influence property tax assessments in Crestwood.
Toscas, an attorney with law offices in Palos Heights, has been township assessor since 2000 and a trustee in Crestwood since 2011.
Bert Odelson, a well-known election law attorney advising the board, said considering the compatibility issue — whether holding the positions of assessor and mayor simultaneously was improper — was outside the electoral board’s narrow scope of authority, which can rule only on whether a candidate is eligible to seek a particular office. The board agreed, dismissing the objection to Toscas’ candidacy that had been filed by Oak Lawn resident Craig Cisko.
Should Toscas win election to both positions, an individual — or the county state’s attorney or the Illinois attorney general — could raise an objection in court, Odelson noted.
As a township assessor in Cook County, Toscas also plays no role in determining assessment policy, something that is done by the county assessor, the lawyer said.
John O’Sullivan, Worth Township Democratic Committeeman, attended the hearing and said afterward that the electoral board’s decision could be appealed in circuit court, but that a decision regarding an appeal hadn’t been made.
He said he “kind of expected” the board’s ruling, noting the three-person board was made up of township Supervisor John “Jack” Murphy, township Clerk Roger Benson and Trustee Michael Mahoney, who are running for re-election with Toscas.