A Cook County Court judge dismissed a request on Monday to consolidate two lawsuits against Wilmette School District 39 and Oak Park School District 97.
Judge Moshe Jacobius denied the motion, petitioned by plaintiff Herbert Sorock, a Wilmette resident, and Taxpayers United of America (TUA), stating there was not sufficient grounds for consolidation.
TUA argued that both lawsuits were based on faulty ballot language that each school district used to pass recent referendums increasing property taxes. TUA said that by failing to include the Illinois state equalizer in their calculations, the districts understated the effects of the increases on homeowners.
Consolidating the two lawsuits would have lessened the financial burden on Oak Park and Wilmette residents as well, according to TUA’s Christina Tobin.
“We wanted to save taxpayers thousands of dollars,” Tobin said.
A statement released by District 39 Tuesday supported Jacobius’ decision, and said that a consolidation would have interfered with the property tax extension process on July 1.
On May 23, Judge Rita Novak dismissed each D39 school board member as a defendant in TUA’s lawsuit, allowing only the school district to be tried. Tobin said that naming individual members as defendants would have kept taxpayers from being financially responsible for the entire district’s legal counsel.
Novak will hear Sorock and TUA’s motion for a temporary restraining order against D39 on June 23 at 11:15 a.m. in courtroom 2402 at the Daley Center in Chicago.