Kane judge dismisses case against ex-Campton Hills Trustee Morgan

But dismissal ‘without prejudice’ means complaint can be refiled

(Left to right) Campton Hills trustee candidates Nicolas Boatner and Janet Burson, village president candidate Barbara Wojnicki and trustee candidate Timothy Morgan celebrate early returns in the Consolidated Election on Tuesday, April 4, 2023.

The civil action against former Campton Hills trustee Timothy Morgan was dismissed, but it may be brought back if prosecutors decide to refile the case, according to a judge’s ruling.

Morgan had been elected trustee April 4, 2023, but Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser pursued charges against him as not being legally qualified to serve. Morgan had pleaded guilty to a felony drunken driving charge in Michigan in 2002.

His right to serve in elected office would have been restored in Michigan, but not in Illinois, according to prosecutors.

Rather than keep up an already long legal fight to keep his seat, Morgan resigned May 14.

Kane County Circuit Judge Kevin Busch ruled May 30 that both sides stipulated that Morgan “has tendered his unconditional resignation from office as a village trustee in Campton Hills ... and that office is now vacant,” court records show.

“The court entertains the defendant’s oral motion to dismiss this matter as moot and the court grants said motion over the plaintiff’s objection,” according to Busch’s order. “This matter is dismissed without prejudice and each party to pay its own costs.”

A case dismissed without prejudice means it can be brought back to court.

In a text message June 17, Mosser wrote that her office sought an agreed dismissal where Morgan would admit that he was not legally entitled to take office.

“He refused. The judge ultimately dismissed the case based on the matter being moot,” according to Mosser’s text.

In a news release she sent June 17, Mosser said she consistently maintained that state law prohibits felons from holding office unless they take action to restore their citizenship rights and that Morgan violated the law by taking the oath of office.

“It is my job as the state’s attorney to enforce the laws of the state of Illinois,” Mosser said in the release.

“It was commendable that Mr. Morgan ran for office to make the community better. It is unfortunate that he was not aware at the time he was running that he could not take office due to his felony conviction. It was further disappointing that he chose to take office after having been told he was ineligible and having been given legal advice to the same,” Mosser said in the release.

“We have spent months in court to uphold our law as our legislature intended, which was to not allow felons to be responsible for important decisions in our municipalities. While I commend Mr. Morgan for finally making the right decision and resigning from office, it has resulted in unnecessary litigation and now an opening for a trustee that Campton Hills will have to fill in the middle of a term,” Mosser said in the release.

She also thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Vincent Coyle for litigating the matter that resulted in Morgan’s resignation.

“We agree with the decision of the court to dismiss the matter,” Mosser said in the release.

The Campton Hills Village Board was scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday for a special meeting in closed session to consider filling the vacancy.

Village President Barbara Wojnicki said the board will meet with three potential candidates.

The three candidates are Thomas Williams, an accountant; Scott Priebe, owner and operator of St. Charles Garage; and Catharine Hight, senior director of human resources and guest services at Christ Community Church in St. Charles.

When the board meets for the regular session at 6:30 p.m., the agenda states Wojnicki will make the appointment, the board will approve it and the new trustee will serve until May 2025.