Cooke v. Illinois State Board of ElectionsAnnotate this Case
In 2016, Cooke filed a complaint against the Committee for Frank J. Mautino with the Illinois State Board of Elections, alleging that the Committee had filed inadequate expenditure reports, Elections Code, 10 ILCS 5/9-7, and made expenditures that did not comply with section 9-8.10. The Board held that the Committee willfully violated its order to amend its expenditure reports and imposed a $5000 fine. Cooke appealed because the Board did not reach the merits of his complaint. On remand, the Board deadlocked on both issues and found that Cooke had not met his burden in establishing violations of either section. The appellate court reversed the Board’s findings that Cooke had not met his burden in establishing violations.
The Illinois Supreme Court reversed in part. Section 9-8.10(a)(9) does not permit committees to make expenditures for gas and repairs to vehicles that are not owned or leased by the committee. For such vehicles, a committee may only make expenditures for actual mileage reimbursement. Because the Committee made expenditures for gas and repairs for vehicles it neither owned nor leased, the Committee violated section 9- 8.10(a)(9). Section 9-8.10(a)(2) regulates only the amount or price of expenditures. Cooke did not demonstrate that the Committee violated that section.