Campton Hills Trustee Morgan endures as effort to remove him continues

Attorney Jeff Meyer: ‘It is incredible to me that the State’s Attorney is prosecuting this’

CAMPTON HILLS – Campton Hills Village Trustee Timothy Morgan almost was sidelined from taking office after winning in the April 4, 2023, consolidated election.

Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser first warned him not to take the oath of office, alleging that a 2002 felony DUI conviction in Michigan made him ineligible.

Judge Kevin Busch ruled May 16, 2023, that Morgan could stay on as trustee until the state could prove he is disqualified. Morgan took the oath and was seated later that night at the Village Board meeting.

Mosser continued her efforts to remove Morgan as trustee. Morgan’s attorney Jeffrey Meyer continued his efforts to keep his client in the position to which he was elected.

In subsequent court filings, prosecutors argued that if a person has a felony conviction under Michigan law, he is “ineligible for election or appointment to any state or local elective office of this state.”

Meyer cited Illinois law that does not bar someone from holding a constitutional office – such as a judge or legislator – upon completion of a sentence for a felony conviction.

Michigan records show Morgan had fulfilled all his requirements after the 2002 DUI, including probation, community service, not to possess or drink alcoholic beverages, pay a fine and use a breathalyzer in his vehicle for a year.

Prosecutors countered that the office of a village trustee is not created by the Constitution, but by the legislature, so the constitutional argument does not apply.

If that is the case, Meyer argued in court papers, “then Illinois law creates two classes of people with different rights: felons who completed their sentence and can run for constitutional office ... and felons who completed their sentence and are barred from running for the very municipal offices created by the legislature whose members may include felons that have completed their own sentences.”

Meyer contended that the distinction between the two types of felons violates the equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

Prosecutors countered that Morgan would be qualified to serve in public office under Michigan law, but that does not apply to him in Illinois.

Meyer responded that Morgan’s restoration of rights under Illinois statute are “otherwise according to law [which] include restoration of rights pursuant to the laws of the foreign state in which the conviction was obtained.”

In October 2023, Busch approved Meyer to file a request for review by the 2nd District Appellate Court in Elgin on two unresolved areas of law in the case:

• As to whether a felony conviction in one state forfeits the right to hold office in another state.

• And whether the prohibition to holding municipal office in Illinois violates Morgan’s right of equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

The appellate court did not grant Meyer’s request.

“It’s discretionary. The court does not have to grant that request,” Meyer said. “Here, they have declined to do so.”

If the appellate court had decided on the legal questions, it would have helped going forward in the continued dispute over Morgan’s service as trustee, Meyer said.

“It is incredible to me that the State’s Attorney is prosecuting this. She could be a felon and arguably hold her office and keep her office,” Meyer said. “Our position is that ... if you want to be a governor, a state legislator or a judge, you get a second chance. If you want to be a village trustee in Campton Hills, apparently, you can’t. ... In a legal sense, there is no rational basis for the distinction.”

The case is back in court March 21.

Morgan continues to serve.

“I think the new board is moving Campton Hills forward and really working hard to fix some wrongs in the community,” Morgan said. “I really love Campton Hills. I love my property and as do my neighbors and the constituents there. I really feel that with my business knowledge and everything I do professionally, I can help Campton Hills personally.”

Morgan is chief operating officer for collision repair equipment company Spanesi Americas in Naperville.

Mosser did not respond to an email seeking comment.