Monday, December 8, 2014

Mike Henry Challenge Hearing

Sat in on the the Electoral Commission hearing for the challenge to Mike Henry's candidacy for mayor this afternoon.  That's Henry sitting in the witness stand. Darryl Dunham is in the black coat with his back to the camera, SIUC Archaeology Professor Andrew Balkansky in the grey jacket,  and Henry's lawyer is the woman in the dark jacket to the right. Mayor Don Monty, Councilwoman Corene McDaniel and City Clerk Jennifer Sorrell facing the camera.

About 3 dozen onlookers and three cameras filled the room behind the railing, almost all of them pro-Henry. A number of them snickered several times at comments Henry made in response to Dunham's questioning and two gentlemen behind me kept running commentary on Dunham, all negative.

Dunham, as the one questioning Henry's status, spent most of his time questioning Henry and introducing various documents into evidence, including a water bill, voter registration card, tax bill and driver's license, all to show that Henry still maintained his primary legal residence in Carterville as of late 2014, well past the date by which he had to establish residence in Carbondale in order to run for mayor. Dunham also cited the case of Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who faced a challenge to his Chicago residency when first running for mayor, indicating that Emmanuel proved residence by just these documents, therefore they should be applicable in proving Henry still had a Carterville residence.  Henry claimed these were all either oversights or, in the case of the water bill, a malfunctioning meter showing water usage after Henry said he had moved out of the Carterville residence.

Henry's lawyer, whose name I did not catch, introduced a number of documents and bills into evidence, all showing Henry's residence as a W. Hill St. address. She also put Henry's wife Terri on the stand to testify that she had properly changed her voter reregistration and driver's license to the new residence, arguing that previous court cases had ruled that other members of a family unit could provide evidence of residency. She also introduced some $10,000 worth of improvements to the property and the testimony of neighbors as to Henry's continuous residency into evidence.

Shortly after 5 p.m., Mayor Monty recessed the hearing. Since either members of the commission or the lawyers were unavailable the rest of the week, the commission will reconvene Monday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. and issue its ruling.

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