ILNews

Case asks whether school board members can run for political office

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A Lake Superior judge may not be breaking any new legal ground with an election-related ruling this week, but he’s set the stage for an appeal that could clear up confusion about whether nonpartisan school board members must give up their right to run for a public office that requires the candidate to declare their political party affiliation.

The ruling by Lake Superior Judge Jesse Villalpando came in George T. Janiec v. Lake County Board of Election and Registration, No. 45D12-1103-MI-00014. Hammond school board member George Janiec wants to run as a Republican against incumbent Democratic city mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. in the May 3 primary. The Democratic Party members of the Lake County Elections Board agreed to remove Janiec from the ballot on grounds that state statute prevents local school board members from political campaigning. If Janiec wants to run for mayor, he must first resign from the school board.

Janiec appealed to the trial court. Judge Villalpando on Wednesday ruled against him and found that he should essentially remove himself from the ballot. At issue is whether Janiec breached an implied statutory duty outlined in Indiana Code Section 20-25-3-3(c)(4) that he wouldn’t be influenced by any political considerations once he took the school board seat July 1, 2010, but did just that when declaring his candidacy for the partisan municipal mayor seat in February.

In his ruling, the judge wrote, “The court finds as a matter of law that the Election Board acted consistent with legislative authority pursuant to: I.C. 20-25-3-3(c)(4), contrary to the legal authority cited in either Petitioner’s or Respondent’s legal memoranda. I.C. 20-25-3-3 specifically applies to the question of conduct to which eligible school board members must adhere. This statute is unambiguous and spot on as it applies to the operative facts of this case.”

Judge Villalpando wrote this isn’t a case of first impression as the election board attorney James Weiser argued, and that the petitioner’s attorneys Cordell Funk and William Fine are also incorrect in saying the election board created a new standard in denying Janiec’s candidacy.

In his 10-page ruling, the judge cited a code of ethics adopted by the School City of Hammond and the Indiana School Board Association that states board members should refuse to "'play politics in either the traditional, partisan or in any petty sense." The Indiana Supreme Court dictated the limited judicial review applicable in this case in its ruling, LTV Steel v Griffin, and using that case, Judge Villalpando ruled that Janiec alone created the condition that undermined his candidacy for mayor according to any straightforward examination of I.C. 20-25-3-3(c)(4). As a result, the Election Board did not abuse its discretion in its March 7th ruling barring Janiec’s candidacy.

The holding is limited to the specific operative facts stated in Janiec’s case and is not intended to establish new policies pertaining to school board members’ constitutionally protected political activities, other than filing a declaration of candidacy for partisan municipal office while holding a nonpartisan office.

But whether the judge intends for this to be a broad stroke or not, history shows that others have done what Janiec is being barred from doing now.

Four decades ago, Hammond school board member Ralph Potesta used his position to win election as a Republican to the Indiana Senate, and currently two other Lake County school board members remain on the May 3 primary ballot for city council seats despite their current positions. Gary School Board trustee LaBrenda King-Smith faced a challenge in her running for city council but that failed on technical grounds. Lake Station School Board member Michael Stills is running for an at-large City Council seat and has been unchallenged.

A notice of appeal in Janiec’s case was filed following a hearing on Thursday, but nothing yet appears on the appellate docket. This issue is on a truncated time table because early voting begins on Monday.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Ð?ажнаÑ? Ð?Ð?ФÐ?РÐ?Ð?ЦÐ?Я о войне в Ð?ивии
    Ð?амÑ? и Ð?оÑ?пода!

    Ð?Ñ?ли вÑ? инÑ?еÑ?еÑ?Ñ?еÑ?еÑ?Ñ? немного полиÑ?икой, Ñ?о должнÑ? бÑ?ли замеÑ?иÑ?Ñ? - Ñ?Ñ?и неожиданнÑ?е волнениÑ? в Ñ?Ñ?Ñ?анаÑ? Ð?Ñ?Ñ?ики
    возникли неÑ?пÑ?оÑ?Ñ?а.

    Ð?Ñ?Ñ?Ñ? 2 веÑ?Ñ?ии Ñ?Ñ?иÑ? Ñ?обÑ?Ñ?ий - "оÑ?иÑ?иалÑ?наÑ?" и "неоÑ?иÑ?иалÑ?наÑ?", и обе веÑ?Ñ?ии Ñ?коÑ?ее Ñ?водÑ?Ñ? в Ñ?Ñ?оÑ?онÑ? оÑ? Ñ?еалÑ?нÑ?Ñ? Ñ?акÑ?ов.
    Ð?еÑ?Ñ?иÑ? 1: Ð?аддаÑ?и - Ñ?иÑ?ан и Ñ?амодеÑ?жеÑ?, Ñ?Ñ?Ñ?елÑ?л в миÑ?нÑ?Ñ? гÑ?аждан, поÑ?Ñ?омÑ? его надо бÑ? Ñ?бÑ?аÑ?Ñ?.
    Ð?еÑ?Ñ?иÑ? 2: на Ñ?амом деле Ð?вÑ?опе Ñ? Ð?меÑ?икой заÑ?оÑ?елоÑ?Ñ? немного Ð?ивийÑ?кой неÑ?Ñ?и, и они Ñ?еÑ?или навеÑ?Ñ?и неболÑ?Ñ?ой "дебоÑ?"

    РаÑ?Ñ?моÑ?Ñ?им веÑ?Ñ?иÑ? 1.
    Ð?а, Ð?аддаÑ?и Ñ?же Ñ?оÑ? еÑ?Ñ? Ñ?Ñ?аÑ?ик, емÑ? конеÑ?но поÑ?а бÑ? и на пенÑ?иÑ?. Ð?о извеÑ?Ñ?но ли вам, Ñ?Ñ?о конкÑ?еÑ?но в Ð?ивии
    наÑ?од имееÑ? веÑ?Ñ?ма вÑ?Ñ?окие пÑ?еÑ?еÑ?енÑ?ии пÑ?и его пÑ?авлении? УÑ?иÑ?елÑ? полÑ?Ñ?аÑ?Ñ? под $3.000, вÑ?плаÑ?Ñ? безÑ?абоÑ?нÑ?м
    поÑ?Ñ?дка $1000 и Ñ?ак далее. Ð?а, он Ñ?Ñ?ал Ñ?кÑ?оÑ?аÑ?Ñ? гÑ?Ñ?ппки взбÑ?нÑ?овавÑ?иÑ?Ñ?Ñ? бедÑ?инов, но кÑ?о-нибÑ?дÑ? понимаеÑ?
    Ñ?еалÑ?нÑ?е пÑ?иÑ?инÑ? Ñ?Ñ?иÑ? бÑ?нÑ?ов?
    ЭÑ?а веÑ?Ñ?иÑ? не вÑ?деÑ?живаеÑ? никакой кÑ?иÑ?ики.

    Ð?еÑ?Ñ?иÑ? 2.
    Ð?еÑ?Ñ?Ñ? Ð?ивии? Ð?а, она оÑ?лиÑ?аеÑ?Ñ?Ñ? вÑ?Ñ?оким каÑ?еÑ?Ñ?вом, Ð?ивийÑ?каÑ? неÑ?Ñ?Ñ? оÑ?енÑ? Ñ?иÑ?Ñ?аÑ?. Ð?о еÑ? Ñ?ам не Ñ?ак много.
    Ð?а и к Ñ?омÑ? же, заÑ?ем Ñ?огда бÑ?доÑ?ажиÑ?Ñ? Ð?гипеÑ? и пÑ?оÑ?ие аÑ?Ñ?иканÑ?кие гоÑ?Ñ?даÑ?Ñ?Ñ?ва, коÑ?оÑ?Ñ?е веÑ?Ñ? пÑ?оÑ?лÑ?й
    год вообÑ?е никого не Ñ?Ñ?евожили и не волновали?! Ð? Ñ?Ñ?Ñ? вдÑ?Ñ?г - "Ñ?иÑ?анÑ?", "извеÑ?ги" и Ñ?.п.

    Ð?а, Ñ?Ñ?а Ñ?иÑ?Ñ?аÑ?иÑ? дополниÑ?елÑ?но подогÑ?ела Ñ?енÑ? на неÑ?Ñ?Ñ?. Ð?Ñ?делÑ?нÑ?м коÑ?поÑ?аÑ?иÑ?м Ñ?Ñ?о вÑ?годно.

    Ð?о иÑ?Ñ?ина коÑ?оÑ?е.
    Ð?аддаÑ?и не Ñ?ак давно наÑ?ал обÑ?единÑ?Ñ?Ñ? ближневоÑ?Ñ?оÑ?нÑ?е Ñ?Ñ?Ñ?анÑ? под идеей пеÑ?ейÑ?и на Ñ?аÑ?Ñ?Ñ?Ñ?
    за неÑ?Ñ?Ñ? и Ñ?оваÑ?Ñ? Ð?Ð? доллаÑ?ами, Ð?Ð? евÑ?о, а алÑ?Ñ?еÑ?наÑ?ивой вÑ?емÑ? Ñ?Ñ?омÑ?. Ð? Ð?гипеÑ? - одна из Ñ?Ñ?Ñ?ан,
    коÑ?оÑ?аÑ? Ñ?Ñ?о поддеÑ?жала...

    Ð?одÑ?обнее - здеÑ?Ñ?:
    http://sterligov.livejournal.com/4389.html

    Ð?днако в попÑ?лÑ?Ñ?нÑ?Ñ? СÐ?Ð? Ñ?Ñ?о никогда не Ñ?кажÑ?Ñ?.

    P.S. У Саддама Ð¥Ñ?Ñ?ейна, кÑ?Ñ?аÑ?и, Ñ?оже бÑ?ли Ñ?акие наÑ?инаниÑ?. Ð?ообÑ?е, поÑ?ле кÑ?изиÑ?а оооÑ?енÑ? многие
    Ñ?Ñ?Ñ?анÑ? Ñ?Ñ?али задÑ?мÑ?ваÑ?Ñ?Ñ?Ñ? об Ð?Ð?Ð?Ð?Ð?Ð?Ð?Ð?Ð?Ð? Ð?Т Ð?Ð?Ð?Ð?СÐ?Ð?Ð?СТÐ? Ð?Т Ð?Ð?Ð?Ð?Ð?РÐ?. Рано или поздно
    Ñ?Ñ?о пÑ?оизойдÑ?Ñ?. ФРС Ñ?же некÑ?да понижаÑ?Ñ? Ñ?Ñ?авки.

    РаÑ?пÑ?оÑ?Ñ?Ñ?аниÑ?е Ñ?Ñ?о где Ñ?можеÑ?е. Ð?Ñ?ди должнÑ? знаÑ?Ñ? пÑ?авдÑ?.


    Ð?Ñ?Ñ?аÑ?и, Ñ?Ñ?о Ñ?оже по Ñ?еме: Ð?еликобÑ?иÑ?аниÑ? оÑ?Ñ?иÑ?алаÑ?Ñ? об Ñ?ниÑ?Ñ?ожении ливийÑ?киÑ? Ð?Ð?С, огнÑ?, Ð?еликобÑ?иÑ?аниÑ? пÑ?имеÑ? Ñ?Ñ?аÑ?Ñ?ие в военной опеÑ?аÑ?ии в Ð?ивии, Ñ?бÑ?оÑ?или, РоÑ?Ñ?иÑ? оÑ?казалаÑ?Ñ? Ñ?Ñ?аÑ?Ñ?воваÑ?Ñ? в военной опеÑ?аÑ?ии в Ð?ивии, Ð?, СÐ? Ð?Ð?Ð? пÑ?инÑ?л Ñ?езолÑ?Ñ?иÑ? по Ð?ивии, о

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. "Am I bugging you? I don't mean to bug ya." If what I wrote below is too much social philosophy for Indiana attorneys, just take ten this vacay to watch The Lego Movie with kiddies and sing along where appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etzMjoH0rJw

  2. I've got some free speech to share here about who is at work via the cat's paw of the ACLU stamping out Christian observances.... 2 Thessalonians chap 2: "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last."

  3. Did someone not tell people who have access to the Chevy Volts that it has a gas engine and will run just like a normal car? The batteries give the Volt approximately a 40 mile range, but after that the gas engine will propel the vehicle either directly through the transmission like any other car, or gas engine recharges the batteries depending on the conditions.

  4. Catholic, Lutheran, even the Baptists nuzzling the wolf! http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-documents-reveal-obama-hhs-paid-baptist-children-family-services-182129786-four-months-housing-illegal-alien-children/ YET where is the Progressivist outcry? Silent. I wonder why?

  5. Thank you, Honorable Ladies, and thank you, TIL, for this interesting interview. The most interesting question was the last one, which drew the least response. Could it be that NFP stamps are a threat to the very foundation of our common law American legal tradition, a throwback to the continental system that facilitated differing standards of justice? A throwback to Star Chamber’s protection of the landed gentry? If TIL ever again interviews this same panel, I would recommend inviting one known for voicing socio-legal dissent for the masses, maybe Welch, maybe Ogden, maybe our own John Smith? As demographics shift and our social cohesion precipitously drops, a consistent judicial core will become more and more important so that Justice and Equal Protection and Due Process are yet guiding stars. If those stars fall from our collective social horizon (and can they be seen even now through the haze of NFP opinions?) then what glue other than more NFP decisions and TRO’s and executive orders -- all backed by more and more lethally armed praetorians – will prop up our government institutions? And if and when we do arrive at such an end … will any then dare call that tyranny? Or will the cost of such dissent be too high to justify?

ADVERTISEMENT