For the second time, McHenry County sheriff hopeful Tony Colatorti has been ruled qualified to run for office.
McHenry County Judge Kevin Costello on Friday upheld the April decision rejecting an objection to Colatorti’s candidacy, which questioned his credentials. The move keeps Colatorti on the ballot – at least for now.
William Brogan and Joel Brumlik, who filed the original objection in March, filed an appeal seeking a reversal of Costello’s decision Friday.
If Friday’s decision stands, the June 28 ballot pits Colatorti against fellow Republican Robb Tadelman, the current undersheriff of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.
“I am grateful that the judge ruled in our favor and will let the voters choose our next sheriff,” Colatorti said in a news release Friday. “My opponent knows he will lose if he has to run in a free and fair election against me.”
In a statement Friday, Tadelman said he disagreed with Costello’s decision and will continue to support the objectors in the case.
“This campaign is indeed about qualifications and integrity,” Tadelman said in the statement. “I look forward to continuing to inform voters about the facts, above the clatter and noise that surrounds campaigns.”
Friday’s ruling affirms the decision by an electoral board in April that found Colatorti’s police certification, which is a part-time certificate, met a new state rule that requires sheriff’s candidates in Illinois to have a certain level of police training.
The new requirement was part of a sweeping criminal justice package passed by the Illinois General Assembly during its lame-duck session last year.
“If the Legislature wanted to require certification as a full-time police officer as a prerequisite to being sheriff, they could have stated such a requirement,” Costello said in his decision Friday. “They did not.”
John Keigher, chief legal counsel for the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, testified in April before the electoral board that the training for both part-time and full-time officers is almost identical except for the time frame in which the training must be completed.
In addition to the certificate, Colatorti has two decades of police experience.