Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Rahm Will Be First Witness at Ballot Challenge Hearing

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    NEWSLETTERS

    There will be one more status hearing on the questions surrounding Rahm Emanuel's residency Monday before the actual questions start flying a day later.

    Emanuel will be the first witness.

    "We have agreed to produce the candidate.  He will testify," said attorney Mike Kasper during a status hearing Friday morning.

    Emanuel will make a statement and then answer questions, another attorney said. 

    Hearing officer Joseph Morris conditionally approved a request to subpoena Emanuel's wife, Amy Rule, for her testimony.  But, he said, he will revisit the question on Monday.

    "Ms. Rule is not running for anything," Kasper challenged.  "This is an effort to harass someone who is not seeking office.  She is the mother of three young children, and it's no secret she is in Washington, D.C."

    The statement produced a chuckle from some of those gathered.

    "Exactly.  That's where they live," one challenger was heard saying.

    "Has she never heard of a babysitter?" asked another aloud.

    When Kasper offered to let Emanuel testify on his wife's behalf, a challenger objected, saying "there's no court in America that lets a husband speak for a wife."

    Emanuel reacted during an afternoon interview with WLS-AM.

    "I think it's a bridge too far... Respect the family.  I'm in public service.  I'm the one that's running for mayor," he said.

    Also receiving subpoenas will be Emanuel's current tenants, Rob Halpin and his wife.  Rob Halpin himself was in -- and then out -- of the race for mayor within two week's time.

    Morris denied requests to subpoena FBI Special Agent Robert Grant, Emanuel's neighbors to either side of his home on North Hermitage Avenue and former city employees.

    He said statements from those who had lost their jobs due to city residency requirements were "not germane to this resident."

    Challengers had wanted Grant to offer testimony, calling it "fundamental."

    "We can't rule out powerful people.  The field office has a file on people.  Is there one on Rahm Emanuel?" a challenger questioned.
     
    Opponents maintain Emanuel shouldn't be allowed to run for mayor because he forfeited residency when he moved to Washington, D.C. to work in the Obama White House as Chief of Staff.

    Emanuel says he still qualifies because he owns a home, pays property taxes and votes in Chicago elections.