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Elections Board will not act further on complaint

Finds it was brought on ‘unjustifiable grounds’

Published: Friday, April 5, 2013 11:50 a.m. CST

A complaint filed by Morris mayoral candidate John T. Brooks against the Grundy County Young Republicans will not go forward.

A hearing officer of the Illinois State Board of Elections, during a closed hearing with parties involved, determined the complaint was founded on “unjustifiable grounds.” The Illinois State Board of Elections, as a result, has determined the matter to be closed.

The complaint, according to Sharon Steward, director of campaign disclosure for the state board, “was found not to have been founded on justifiable grounds and no further action will be taken.”

Brooks, the independent candidate for mayor, had filed the complaint against the Grundy County Young Republicans and some of its members, including one of his opponents in the mayoral race, Alderman Drew Muffler.

In the complaint, Brooks alleged the Young Republicans failed to comply with the state board’s disclosure laws.

He named Muffler, Grundy County Board Vice Chairman David Welter and Young Republicans President Aren Hansen as officers of the group during the alleged incidents.

The complaint consisted of 15 counts, which stated the Young Republicans should be fined according to state law. Among the fines the complaint anticipated fines was one for $65,000 for allegedly failing to file 13 semiannual and quarterly reports.

Another count stated that the group did not file a “Statement of Organization” with the State Board of Elections in 2008 nor 2009, as well as failing to disclose its sponsoring entity.

Counts three through 15 stated the Young Republicans failed to file 13 “mandatory semiannual and quarterly disclosure reports,” violating the State Board of Election rules.

In a statement, Brooks said the campaign plans to appeal the board’s decision and ask the attorney general’s office to conduct a complete investigation into the Young Republicans’ finances.

“This group of individuals is hiding their finances from the public only to masquerade their reckless conduct,” the statement read.v“It appears the group attempts to intentionally fly just under the radar so that it can participate in political activities without having to publicly disclose its financial dealings.”

Brooks said that his campaign has “gathered additional evidence” since their initial complaint, which he said they will forward to the attorney general.

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