A judge has ruled that the results of a February election for an alderman's seat after the definition of the word "majority" was brought into question by the Macomb City Council.
A judge ruled Friday that Steve Wailand shall be seated as Macomb's second ward alderman after winning a February election by a final of 17 votes to 16 votes for incumbent Kay Hill. However, Wailand was never declared the winner.
The Liberty Justice Center filed a lawsuit on his behalf, claiming election officials ignored the laws in place.
In an April 2 hearing, Judge Rodney Clark ordered the additional hearing to give the city of Macomb more time to present additional information.
While the city of Macomb argued that the word "majority" should be defined as "50 percent plus one", Wailand argued that it should be anything above 50 percent.
The court agreed.
"This court finds that the word "majority" is unambiguous and requires no construction," according to the documents filed in the McDonough County Courthouse. "As stated in the Municipal Code of Macomb, Illinois, it should receive its "common and approved usage of the language."
The court said that the city could not produce enough evidence to support the argument that the word "majority" be defined as "50 percent plus one."
"The court is confident that anyone reading the code would determine that if a candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote at the February election, that the candidate would be declared the winner."
Since no winner was declared, Wailand and Hill faced each other again in the April 9 election. The results from that election will be void.
Wailand says he's eager to put the situation behind him, and be seated as second ward alderman.
"I'm just really excited to have this opportunity, I'm glad the judge ruled the way he did, and I'm grateful for the way he ruled," said Wailand.
WGEM spoke to Macomb Mayor Mike Inman, he says he's reached out to Wailand and has congratulated him, and is excited to welcome Wailand on-board with the city.
Wailand will be sworn-in at the may 6th city council meeting.
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