In the recent LWV Forum, Geoff Neustadt, candidate for Mayor of Downers Grove, made a talking point about the Village’s ethics ordinance, saying that he was proud to have been one of those who voted to adopt it.
Paragraph 6 of Exhibit 2 to the Official Village Policy Regarding Ethical Standards, adopted in October 2007, clearly states that: “Elected officials or their agents may not knowingly approach any Village employee to seek their signature on a nominating petition.”
In filing his nominating papers to run for Mayor, Mr. Neustadt appears to have violated that ordinance.
One of the nominating petitions that he filed to get himself on the ballot was not only signed by one of Downers Grove’s current police officers but was circulated by that same police officer for others to sign before he himself signed it, and then had his signature notarized (by Commissioner Becky Rheintgen) as a petition circulator. A copy of the petition, signed and circulated by Andrew Blaylock, appears below. Officer Blaylock is someone unquestionably known to Mr. Neustadt as an employee of the Village.
One could argue whether Mr. Neustadt “knowingly” knew of the nominating petition, but considering the notary, we suspect the candidate would have been privy when the petitions are scrutinized before submission.
The Downers Grove Watch expects strict adherence to Village ordinances as they relate to the campaigns of those running for office.