District 39 Referendum Lawsuit May Head to State's Top Court
Taxpayers United of America has filed a petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.
A legal appeal challenging the wording of Wilmette Public Schools District 39’s successful tax-hike referendum may head to the Illinois Supreme Court.
Taxpayers United of America (TUA), the group that filed the original lawsuit in May 2011, is challenging the First District Appellate Court’s decision to dismiss TUA’s appeal in April.
District 39 has two weeks to respond to the filing. The Illinois Supreme Court will then decide whether to accept the appeal.
“We are certainly disappointed that TUA was again unwilling to abide by the decision of the Appellate Court. This petition to the Illinois Supreme Court will cause the District to spend additional dollars in legal fees that should be used for the education of children in our community,” Karen Donnan, president of District 39 Board Education said in a statement.
The district has spent almost $48,000 to date in defense of this lawsuit, according to Donnan.
“This case has been a drain on district resources for more than a year,” Donnan said in the statement. “I sincerely hope this concludes quickly so District 39 can focus its resources and attention where it belongs, on our students.”
The original lawsuit, filed by Wilmette resident Herbet Sorock and TUA alleged that language appearing on the tax-hike referendum misled voters. A judge dismissed the lawsuit in June 2011. Sorock and TUA filed an appeal in July 2011 and the case was combined with a similar TUA lawsuit against Oak Park School District 97. Both appeals were dismissed March 15, and a motion to reinstate the cases was rejected April 11.
Sorock is not participating in the current petition before the Illinois Supreme Court, according to Wilmette Public Schools District 39’s press release.
A PDF of the petition for leave to appeal and the Illinois Supreme Court's letter allowing the petition can be found on the right.
- Court Dismisses Tax-Levy Legal Appeal Against District 39
- Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against D39 Referendum
- Breaking Down the Ballot: Demystifying D39 and D97 Tax Hikes
- After Referenda Lawsuits, Clearing Up The Confusion
- What’s Next for the District 39 Referendum?