O’Fallon resident sues Election Authority for name removal on April ballot
By: Michael R. Smith
A county resident who says his name was illegally removed from one of two ballots for the April 2 elections has sued Election Authority Director Rich Chrismer for $50,000.
O’Fallon resident A.C. Dienoff says he will continue his suit despite a Circuit Judge Ted House’s decision on Feb. 13 which upheld Chrismer’s action.
Dienoff is on the April ballot as a Ward One candidate for the O’Fallon City Council. He is suing Chrismer because the election director removed Dienoff’s name from the ballot for a director’s position with the St. Charles County Ambulance District.
Both the O’Fallon and ambulance board offices are paid positions and Chrismer said state law doesn’t allow an individual to appear on multiple ballots on the same election date for paid positions.
After hearing both sides on Feb. 13 House disallowed Dienoff’s name from being put back on the ambulance board ballot.
“The judge clearly stated that (Dienoff) violated the (statute) section as I had said he had,” Chrismer said.
Dienoff said payment is irrelevant in the issue and that the statute House and Chrismer used to prevent his name from being on the ballot is related
”with partisan politics. It deals with political elected offices and not non-partisan races. So, it exempts candidates for special districts.”
Dienoff said that House erred in the decision and the suit against Chrismer is going forward. He said he will ask an appeals court to make an emergency decision on the issue in order to get his name on the ballot. If the judge’s decision isn’t overturned Dienoff said he will take the issue to the state supreme court.
“I have to stand up for what I believe in,” said Dienoff.
Chrismer said Dienoff’s name is on the O’Fallon ballot because that application was certified first. He also said his staff informed Dienoff of his ineligibility to file for the ambulance board position unless he first removed his name as an O’Fallon ward candidate.
“Our staff did tell him and gave him a copy of the statute that he was violating,” Chrismer said. “He was informed.”