A federal judge won’t reconsider his decision to throw out a lawsuit alleging Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan conspired to put up sham candidates in a 2016 Democratic primary.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly denied a motion Saturday to reconsider an August decision on a lawsuit brought by Jason Gonzales, according to The Chicago Tribune. Gonzales, who lost to Madigan by a wide margin, alleged the speaker’s political organization stacked the ballot with phony candidates with Hispanic-sounding names to confuse voters.
Kennelly said Gonzales’ motion was not “proper basis for reconsideration,” revisiting points the judge had already rejected.
Madigan spokeswoman Eileen Boyce said the latest ruling “reaffirms that Mr. Gonzales had his opportunity to make his case to the voters, and he lost overwhelmingly.”
Gonzales’ attorney Stephen Boulton planned to appeal. Gonzales, whose name is spelled Gonzalez in court documents, had sought damages of up to $2 million.
In the original ruling, Kennelly said it was “undisputed” that some of Madigan’s team helped put up additional candidates and “evidence supports a reasonable inference that Madigan authorized or at least was aware of the recruitment effort.” But Gonzales made widely-publicized allegations of “deceptive tactics a central” campaign issue allowing voters to “rebuke Madigan by electing his challenger.”