On Tuesday, April 25, 2023, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Araceli De La Cruz provided declaratory judgment that the April 2021 resident-initiated referendum attempting to change the Village of Niles Board of Ethics from a government-appointed body to a voter-elected body was unconstitutional and against Illinois state law. As a result, the Village of Niles Ethics Board members will not be elected by the public, the recent consolidated election results for these positions will not be released by the Cook County Clerk, and the Village of Niles Board of Ethics members will continue to be appointed by the Village Board of Trustees.
“It is good for the Niles community that we finally have a definitive answer to this matter. It has been a long and trying road for all involved, from the candidates who worked diligently to declare and run their candidacy, to the Village staff who have tirelessly worked to keep moving forward in the face of conflicting directives and laws,” said Mayor George D. Alpogianis. “We appreciate the important work of the independent, upstanding residents who serve on the Board of Ethics.”
The April 2021 referendum appeared on the ballot following previous litigation that focused on procedures for placing referenda on a ballot, but not the constitutionality of the referendum itself. This new April 2023 ruling came after a resident filed a lawsuit regarding the constitutionality of the referendum.
Mayor Alpogianis and the Board of Trustees anticipate making annual appointments to the Board of Ethics and other standing committees at the May 23, 2023 Village Board Meeting.
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