Firefighter questions Calabrese’s candidacy

By Paolo Cisneros

Champaign firefighter Pat Devaney filed an objection to Frank Calabrese’s candidacy April 14, just one week after the junior in LAS announced he was running to represent the 103rd district in the Illinois House.

Devaney claimed that Calabrese was ineligible to run since the Republican Party never officially filed a certificate of organization for his campaign.

According to the Illinois Election code, the document acknowledges that the party within the district has officially elected a chairman and a secretary.

Attorneys for both parties met Tuesday at the Champaign County Courthouse to state their cases before the Champaign County Officers Electoral Board. Calabrese was also on hand.

John Maloney, Calabrese’s attorney, said the certificate in question was completed and in the mail. The objection is nothing more than a partisan attempt to capitalize on a minor technicality, Maloney said in a phone interview.

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Maloney said he sent a copy of the completed certificate to Calabrese’s opponent, Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, and he expected the objection to be withdrawn.

Upon arriving at the courthouse, Maloney received an unpleasant surprise in the form of Rob Uhe, Devaney’s attorney who was there to pursue his client’s objection.

“I essentially said, ‘Well wait a second, are you objecting to the fact that the mail is slow in getting to Springfield?'” Maloney said.

During a phone interview, Jakobsson admitted to receiving a document in the mail from Maloney, but said that she was unaware of what it was.

“I don’t really know what the issue is,” she said. “I didn’t even know there was a hearing today.”

The board agreed to hold another hearing May 2 to allow Maloney time to write up his counter objection.

“I suspect this is going to die before we get there,” he said. “This is a non-issue.”

Jakobsson disagreed. She said that she would not ask Devaney to drop the charges regardless of whether the certificate mailed to her by Maloney was actually the one in question.

“I think we’ll let the courts settle this,” she said.