The decision reaffirms rulings both from an electoral board back in April and a McHenry County court ruling in May that sided with Colatorti, saying his qualifications and training make him eligible to run for office under a new state law.
Colatorti is running against McHenry County Undersheriff Robb Tadelman in the June 28 Republican primary.
Colatorti in a statement Monday called the lawsuit a “farce and a waste of taxpayer dollars from the beginning.”
“Attempts by my opponent and his powerful friends to rig this election in his favor is disgraceful,” according to his statement. “But I guess I should thank them for having three courts, including one of the highest in the land, rule I am qualified.”
Tadelman said he continues to support the objection filed by Joel Brumlik and William Brogan, who objected to Colatorti’s qualifications back in March and argued that Colatorti’s part-time certification did not meet the requirements laid out in the state’s criminal justice package passed during a lame-duck session last year.
”This race has always been about experience and the challenge was based on the experience that sheriffs and sheriffs candidates should possess,” Tadelman said Monday. “Throughout this important process the campaign continues to go on.”
Brumlik and Brogan have not yet decided if they will continue to fight the case, attorney Keri-Lyn Krafthefer said Monday.
The decision filed Monday laid out many similar arguments and issues that have been presented in the past, which were rejected by Judge Joseph Birkett with the state’s 2nd District Appellate Court. Appellate Judges Robert McLaren and Donald Hudson concurred on the opinion.
Those include questions about whether Specifically, the new law added a requirement that new sheriff’s candidates must have certain certification through a police training course. That training is broken into both a full-time and part-time certification.
Although as Birkett wrote in his decision, the wording of the law being applied to the sheriff’s requirements does not specify a difference between part-time training and full-time training.
It goes on to say that based on the objector’s argument, because both certificates are “substantially equivalent,” neither meets the language requirements needed to run for sheriff. As a result, neither a full-time or part-time officer would be qualified.
“Accepting objectors’ basic argument would mean that the General Assembly had … abolished the office of sheriff, but not the sheriff’s police department,” Birkett said in the ruling. “A plainly absurd result prohibited by the most fundamental principles of statutory interpretation.”