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Mondragon v. Reyes

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District

March 10, 2015

ADOLFO MONDRAGON, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
RAUL O. REYES and THE BOARD OF ELECTION COMMI SSIONERS OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO and its Members LANGDON D. NEAL, RICHARD A. COWEN, and MARISEL A. HERNANDEZ, Respondents-Appellees

Appeal from the Circuit Court Of Cook County. No. 2015 COEL 15. The Honorable David A. Skryd, Judge Presiding.

For Defendant-Appellant: Steven W. Becker, Esq., Adolfo, Mondragon, Esq., of counsel, Law Offices of Steven W. Becker, LLC, Chicago, Illinois.

For Plaintiff-Appellee: Matthew M. Welch, Sara M. Gallagher, of counsel, Palos Heights, Illinois; James M. Scanlon, of counsel, James M. Scanlon & Associates, P.C., Chicago, Illinois.

JUSTICE NEVILLE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Simon and Justice Liu concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 533

NEVILLE, JUSTICE.

[¶1] This case involves the interpretation of provisions in the Illinois Municipal Code (Code) (65 ILCS 20/21-14(a) (West 2012)) concerning residency requirements following redistricting. Although Raul Reyes had lived in the 14th ward within the year preceding the 2015 election, he sought election as alderman for the 15th ward. Adolfo Mondragon objected maintaining that Reyes did not meet the Code's residency requirement. The Board of Election Commissioners of the City of Chicago (Board) dismissed Mondragon's objection, finding that because of a redistricting in 2012, residents of the 14th ward met the residency requirement to run for alderman in the 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, and 23rd wards. Mondragon appeals. We agree with the Board's interpretation of the Code, and therefore we affirm.

[¶2] BACKGROUND

[¶3] Aldermen of the City of Chicago redrew the boundaries of the City's wards in 2012. Parts of the old 14th ward became parts of the new 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, and 23rd wards. Chicago held its first aldermanic election since the 2012 redistricting in February 2015.

[¶4] Raul Reyes lived on South Whipple Street in Chicago. Reyes's residence was in the 14th ward both before and after the 2012 redistricting. Reyes moved to an address in the new 15th ward during 2014. In November 2014, Reyes filed nomination papers, seeking election as alderman for the new 15th ward. Mondragon objected to Reyes's nomination, arguing that Reyes could not represent the 15th ward because he had not lived in the 15th ward for a year. See 65 ILCS 20/21-14(a) (West 2012). Reyes moved to dismiss the objection. Reyes contended that the Code permitted him to serve as alderman for the 15th ward because part of the old 14th ward had become part of the new 15th ward.

[¶5] The Board agreed with Reyes and dismissed Mondragon's objection, thereby permitting Reyes's name to remain on the ballot for election as alderman for the 15th ward. The circuit court affirmed the Board's decision. Mondragon now appeals.

Page 534

[¶6] ANALYSIS

[¶7] Mondragon's appeal presents the court with a legal issue, the proper interpretation of the Code. Therefore, we review the Board's ruling de novo. County of Du Page v. Illinois Labor Relations Board, 231 Ill.2d 593, ...


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