Opponent says Landek shouldn’t be mayor and state senator
BY STEVE METSCH firstname.lastname@example.org January 26, 2012 8:52PM
Updated: February 28, 2012 8:16AM
State Sen. Steve Landek wears one hat too many, his political opponent says.
Raul Montes Jr., is running against Landek, who is also Bridgeview’s mayor. Montes, 37, thinks Landek shouldn’t be allowed to hold both jobs.
Montes has scheduled a news conference at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Bridgeview Village Hall, 7500 S. Oketo Ave.
Montes, of Chicago, wants Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to remove Landek from the March 20 Democratic primary election ballot.
“Mr. Landek insists on drawing two taxpayer-funded payrolls and corresponding benefits packages, he would be challenged to meet the fiduciary obligations he owes to residents of both his legislative district and the village of Bridgeview,” Montes said.
Landek did not return a phone call Thursday. But Kent Redfield, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois-Springfield, said it’s “legally OK” to hold both jobs.
“It is illegal to get paid for two jobs at the same time. You can’t bill both for the same time,” Redfield said. “Otherwise, as long as you compartmentalize it, I’m not aware there’s a legal issue.”
The attorney general’s office had not made any rulings that say holding both jobs is incompatible, said Ken Menzel, of the Illinois State Board of Elections.
That, however, does not mean there won’t be potential conflicts of interest for a mayor in the Senate, Redfield said. If there were a bill that abolished some state funding to villages, a mayor would have a conflict, he said.
“You leave the door open for people to question your motives ... so it’s probably better to not have legislators holding two government offices,” Redfield said.
Montes, who said he was offered a state job and $3,000 to not run against Landek, said the mayor could vote on issues that help Bridgeview more than other communities in the district.
Montes said Landek used clout last year when he was appointed to fill the vacant seat of state Sen. Louis Viverito, who had retired.
“It’s called knowing people and being part of the machine,” Montes said.