An Illinois Appellate Court recently held that a township
trustee was disqualified from holding township office because of a prior felony
conviction. People
v. Zimel

Under the Township Code, any person convicted of “any
infamous crime, bribery, perjury, or other felony” is disqualified from holding
a township office. In April 2021, a candidate was elected as a township trustee. In June 2021, the State asked the newly elected trustee to establish that he
was not convicted of a felony or to resign from office, but he did
neither. The State then filed a lawsuit to disqualify him from office, and
the trial court ruled in the State’s favor. The trustee appealed.

The Appellate Court upheld the trial court’s decision on several grounds. First, the Appellate Court rejected the trustee’s argument that the State delayed filing
their lawsuit or that there was a statute of limitations that barred the lawsuit. The Court also held that the State was not required to challenge the township official’s candidacy prior to, or at the time of, the election. Finally, the Court determined that the trustee’s conviction for “intimidation” qualified as an “other
felony” under the Township Code which disqualifies a person from township office.   

Post Authored by Daniel Lev, Ancel Glink