Evanston’s Board of Ethics is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday evening on complaints from community activist Betty Sue Ester who claims a range of violations in the 5th Ward aldermanic race.

Ester argues that Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and three aldermen — Peter Braithwaite, Delores Holmes and Eleanor Revelle — violated the city’s ethics code by endorsing Robin Rue for 5th Ward alderman.

While the code prohibits elected officials from engaging in political activities while they’re conducting their officials duties, Ester provides no evidence in her complaint that the endorsements by Braithwaite, Revelle and Tisdahl occurred at such times.

However Ester in her complaint does provide a copy of an endorsement message from Holmes that appears to have been sent using the city’s email distribution system.

Ester also claims, without citing any code provision to support her theory, that Rue violated the ethics code by being a member of the mayorally-appointed Aldermanic Compensation Committee and then later running for alderman.

And Ester, who lives at 1921 Dewey Ave. in the 5th Ward, claims that the city paid to rent a building that Rue has used for her campaign headquarters, a claim that both Rue and City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz have said is false.

The Board of Ethics meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in Room 2403 of the Civic Center.

Update 4 p.m. 3/22/17: City Attorney Grant Farrar says the Board of Ethics ended up short of a quorum for its Tuesday evening meeting, so the hearing on Ester’s complaints has been rescheduled for the next board meeting on April 18.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Disgruntled Citizen

    Its amazing how some people just cant accept defeat, The CNP is probably upset that the request to make the independent police review board paid positions failed. so now they want to start attacking Aldermen and candidates.I wonder if anyone bothered to check their affiliation with the other candidate.

    1. Ethics violations in 5th ward race

      The claim that Robin Rue Simmons’ headquarters on Asbury and Emerson has been paid for by the City of Evanston has been debunked in an earlier article that I read.  Ms. Simmons’ statement that she pays the rent herself has been verified by City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz.

      In order to prepare herself for the 5th ward aldermanic position, Candidate Simmons spent one year “shadowing” City officials to learn what their jobs entail and learning about the various committees and departments in the City government.  She is well prepared to become the next 5th ward alderman and her agenda for the ward is to keep improving it with sensitivity toward all citizens living in the ward.

  2. 5th Ward campaign

    Betty Ester is the known campaign manager for Carlis Sutton and a former losing Aldermanic candidate to Alderman Holmes. All of these complaints at the eve of an election are ridiculous and a political hit job that the community can see past it easily. Betty doesnt need to do these things, allow Carolyn to run and show if she has any substance to her campaign. Robin Rue Simmons has shown time after time that she has done the right things to become the most qualified candidate to step up as 5th Ward Alderman. I havent seen 1 negatively charged comment, campaign attack or any of that from the Robin campaign. She has earned those legit endorsements and they are without dispute or controversy. The only one that has done anything wrong is Betty for trying to bring a severely negative and false narrative to the waning days of the race.

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