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Board likely to disqualify Rock Falls candidate

Mayoral hopeful had unpaid fines with the city

Published: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 11:43 a.m. CDT

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ROCK FALLS – Unpaid fines likely will lead to Allen Boseneiler’s ouster as a mayoral candidate.

On Friday, the city’s electoral board found that Boseneiler should be disqualified because he owed the city money when he filed his candidacy. The board is expected to reconvene Wednesday to issue a formal decision.

Click here to see video testimony

Meanwhile, Boseneiler’s objections to the two other mayoral candidates, Mayor David Blanton and City Clerk Bill Wescott, were dismissed by the board.

City Building Inspector Mark Searing filed a number of objections to Boseneiler’s candidacy, but the one that stuck was that Boseneiler had unpaid fines with the city when he filed his candidacy Dec. 26.

According to testimony, Boseneiler paid fines at the Rock Falls Police Department at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 26, about 6 hours after he filed his candidacy.

Boseneiler said he paid before turning in his nominating papers, but he had no receipts or other proof to show that he did.  

“I wanted to have all matters accounted for before filing. I only did that to comply with the law [requiring payment beforehand],” Boseneiler said during the electoral board’s hearing.

Police Chief Mike Kuelper testified that he and other witnesses could verify that Boseneiler paid the fines at 4:30 p.m.

City Attorney Jim Reese said Boseneiler’s lateness with the fines was grounds for denying him a place on the ballot.

The electoral board agreed, but decided not to take a vote until Wednesday, when it could have a written decision prepared.

Boseneiler filed objections to the candidacies of his two opponents. He said he wished to verify the signatures on their petitions.

Reese told the electoral board that he didn’t see Boseneiler’s filings against the other candidates as objections. He said Boseneiler had no specifics.

“The board’s function is to hear specific objections to see whether they’re valid or not,” the attorney said. “You’re not an investigative body.”

The board agreed to dismiss Boseneiler’s objections. 

Boseneiler is a regular attendee of City Council meetings and has clashed with the city over code enforcement issues, which involve Searing. 

Boseneiler often criticizes Blanton’s administration. At Friday’s hearing, Boseneiler said Wescott would make an “outstanding mayor.”

After the board dismissed his objections, Boseneiler said he would take the matter to court.

“There will be a review of all matters,” he said.  

Also at the hearing, he requested that he be referred to as “Citizen Boseneiler,” rather than “Mr. Boseneiler.” He said he didn’t like formal titles. Reese honored his request.

The electoral board was made up of Aldermen Glen Kuhlemier and Lee Folsom and former Alderwoman Pamela Erby, all of whom signed Blanton’s petition. 

Reese said it’s fine legally if the board members signed a candidate’s petition.

Boseneiler questioned the board’s chairman, Kuhlemier, afterward about his signing of Blanton’s petition.

Kuhlemier said he had a right as an American citizen to sign a petition.

To attend

The Rock Falls Board of Elections will meet at 3 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 603 W. 10th St.

The board will issue a formal decision on whether to remove Allen Boseneiler as a candidate for mayor.

Call 815-622-1100 for more information.

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