50% Plus One Case
11:38 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Election Dispute Hearing Continued

The April 4 court proceedings in the 50% Plus One case in Macomb did not last long because the Liberty Justice Center – which is representing city council candidate Steve Wailand – never summoned his opponent, Kay Hill.

The McDonough County Courthouse
The McDonough County Courthouse
Credit Rich Egger

Judge Rodney Clark cited numerous legal precedents in stating it would improper to contest an election result without all necessary parties present.

He ordered Justice Center Legal Counsel Diane Cohen to summon Hill and adjourned the hearing until Monday, April 8, at 10:00am.

Cohen is hoping for a ruling on the election result on Monday.

“And I understand, from what the judge said today, that is his hope as well,” Cohen said.

Monday is the day before the run-off election between Wailand and Hill. County Clerk Gretchen DeJaynes ordered that election after ruling neither candidate received 50% of the vote plus one in the city’s February election. DeJaynes has said that’s the way the city has told her to administer the election.

However, Cohen said the phrase “50% plus one” does not appear in the city code or its special charter. She said the city and county need to follow the law.

“This is a very important case to remind government officials that what they do matters, their conduct matters,” Cohen said.

In the February election, Wailand received 17 votes to Hill’s 16. They were the only two candidates in the contest.