Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rahm Emanuel Residency Hearings Close, Final Opinion Promised Before Christmas

December 16, 2010 - Chicago - The Rahm Emanuel residency hearing wrapped up its final day of weirdness today just in time for the dinner hour. Today's bizarre session was one of several this week in the process to determine Emanuel's residency and eligibility to run for mayor of Chicago. People who object to Emanuel's candidacy for stated legal reasons have been allowed to make statements and even cross examine witnesses, which has led to many delays but also to many strange and often amusing moments. Hearing Officer Joe Morris announced at 4:15 p.m. that final oral arguments by objectors would be heard, just after a short recess. He added that objectors who want to submit written briefs to him may do so, with a deadline of 12:00 Noon next Monday. The only rule for the briefs, he told the objectors, was that their briefs be legible. "Neatness counts," he said, and then broke the hearing for ten minutes. During the recess, Mr. Morris told Chicago News Bench that he would consider all that he's heard this week in the hearings, and then carefully consider the written briefs next week. He said that the purpose of the briefs is to give objectors the opportunity to state in writing whatever they might not have gotten in orally this week, and also to clarify or support statements made by citing legal cases. Mr. Morris said he will base his recommendation on both what he's heard and the written briefs. He will then forward his recommendation to the Board of Elections, which will make the final decision. Mr. Morris told CNB that he expects a decision before Christmas. Photos of items left in storage by Rahm Emanuel were shown and discussed. The photos showed boxes and other items, including a bed frame, in a crawl space and the basement of the house owned by the Emanuels but rented out while they lived in Washington, D.C. The Sun-Times gave a strange report that said, in part, "Attorneys for Emanuel visited the house he owns in Ravenswood at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, located the much-discussed 'crawl space,' looked inside and found the valuable items Emanuel had maintained he had stored there. They have argued the fact they left the items there while Emanuel went to Washington D.C. to work as President Obama’s chief of staff shows he always planned to return to Chicago — and therefore should be eligible to run for mayor." In the hearing, however, Attorney Dana S. Douglas testified under oath that she took the photos late last night, around midnight, and not "at 1:30 p.m." today as the Sun-Times mysteriously reported. Under questioning, Ms. Douglas admitted that there were a number of boxes that she and others with her did not open. Some objectors voiced the opinion that no matter what was shown in the photos, or found in the house, none of it proves Rahm Emanuel's intentions to have moved back to Chicago or to maintain his legal residence here. One could make a rational argument that many people leave valuable items in storage, in other cities or states, while they are looking for a house to buy elsewhere and that the items stored by Emanuel prove nothing about his intentions about residency when he left Chicago years ago. RELATED: Rahm Emanuel Residency Hearing Turns Circus-Like‎ - CBS News Arguments End in Emanuel Residency Hearings‎ Chicago News Cooperative Conservative Activist Presides Over Rahm Emanuel Residency Hearings CNB Mainstream media ignores fishy story of Rahm Emanuel's GOP mayoral opponent Washington Times