Illinois: Chicago Heights will appeal redistricting order
The Chicago Tribune reports: Chicago Heights officials voted Monday to continue a fight over minority voting rights, a battle that dates to 1987 and that by one alderman's estimate already has cost the town more than $3 million in legal fees.
By a 4-3 vote, with Mayor Anthony DeLuca casting the deciding vote, the City Council directed its attorney to appeal a federal court ruling ordering the city to redraw its voting districts and restructure its government to comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Under the ruling handed down last week by U.S. District Judge David Coar, the city is required to go from a six-member City Council to a seven-member board of aldermen. The decision would weaken the mayor's powers to appoint department heads without council approval and cast tie-breaking council votes.
The ruling overturns a 1994 settlement of the 1987 lawsuit filed by four residents, including Ald. Kevin Perkins (3rd), who said the city's at-large elections for City Council were unfair to minority voters. Under the settlement the city abandoned at-large elections and replaced them with six districts, whose voters select their alderman. -- Chicago Tribune | Chicago Heights fights on