Calloway’s 5th Ward challenge gets another hearing in July

William Calloway speaks to supporters after Judge LaGuina Clay-Herron set July 12 as the next hearing date. (Photo by Marc Monaghan)

By SAMANTHA SMYLIE
Staff writer

DALEY CENTER — Cook County Judge LaGuina Clay-Herron set another hearing for July 12 for William Calloway to protest Ald. Leslie Hairston’s slim victory in the April 2 runoff election.

On May 23, Calloway appeared in court to follow up on the contested 5th Ward election race. Around 15 people showed up to support the South Side organizer in the courtroom. According to Calloway, his main concern is the errors of certification in 4 precincts — 5, 10, 17 and 35.

“We’re going to see if you need a certificate of results to certify a precinct,” Calloway said. “The importance of the certificate of results is to protect the integrity of the precinct election. What the Board of Election is doing, along with my opponent, is trying to minimize the importance of the certificate.”

Addressing supporters outside the courtroom after the hearing, Calloway said: “July 12, that’s going to be like, it’s really a trial, it’s oral arguments, but it’s a trial. Meaning we can produce evidence, we can call witnesses and stuff like that.

“So, July 12, that’s, that’s really, really good. I hate that it is that far. Oh, you know what I am saying. That gives her more time to do whatever she’s doing and operate as alderman. And then once we do get a new election, ain’t no telling how much time she [Judge Clay-Herron] is going to give us. It could be 30 days, and we have to run a race, and then get elected. So, I might not be alderman until the fall.”

Thursday’s court appearance was not used to hear arguments on the contested race. Instead, it was used to set the status of the case and a calendar for each side to file motions before heading to a hearing. Recently, Hairston’s attorney filed a motion of dismissal. Frank Avila, the lawyer who is working pro bono for Calloway, requested at least 14 days to respond.

While setting dates for motions, one of Hairston’s lawyers mentioned that he will be on vacation in late June. Judge Clay-Herron mentioned that the court will be on vacation from June 20 to July 1. The judge then set the July 12 date.

(Marc Monaghan contributed to this report.)

s.smylie@hpherald.com