5th Ward discovery recount concludes; Calloway pledges new election challenge

William Calloway speaks to reporters at the Richard J. Daley Center after a status hearing on his 5th Ward election challenge. (Photo by Aaron Gettinger)

Staff writer

DALEY CENTER — The discovery recount for the 5th Ward aldermanic race has been completed, but challenger William Calloway has vowed to file an amended complaint.

Calloway and his new counsel of record, Frank Avila, and attorneys for Hairston and the Chicago Elections Board will meet before circuit court Judge LaGuina Clay-Herron in two weeks, on May 23, for a status hearing.

Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen said the board will file to dismiss the complaint before May 23, though it anticipated Calloway’s amended complaint: “We’ll wait and see what gets filed.”

The new City Council will take office on May 20, and Allen said the City Council will seat Hairston when it convenes.

Speaking to reporters after a May 9 status hearing, Calloway said there were election code violations on April 2 and said the amended complaint will list further election discrepancies.

“I think that the real question right now for your readers and for your viewers is the real question that we want to present, that we need the court to answer, is: do you need a certificate of results to certify a precinct?” Calloway said. He declined to comment further on the matter or on discrepancies uncovered in the discovery recount.

Reached after the hearing, Avila said that the certificates of results “for some precincts were not completed or not completed fully or correctly.” He said he would like Judge Clay-Herron to order a re-vote across the whole ward, but he thinks there are four precincts in particular in which a re-vote is warranted, though he said he did not know those four specific precincts during the interview.

Ed Mullen, Hairston’s attorney, said he did not think anything had changed since Election Day. He reiterated Hairston’s margin in the Election Board’s count and noted that the two other challenged City Council elections had concluded.

“They realized it was too much of a battle to get over 13 ballots and 25 ballots,” Mullen said, referring to Ald.-elect Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez’ (33rd) and Ald. James Cappleman’s (46th) margins, respectively. “So here you’ve 176, and I think that gives you a good idea of the uphill battle they have in front of them.”