Emanuel's wife not testifying at hearing

December 14, 2010 4:36:34 AM PST
Rahm Emanuel's wife will not have to testify at a hearing to decide if Emanuel is eligible to run for Chicago mayor.

Emanuel is fighting challenges from people who say that he does not meet a requirement that Chicago mayoral candidates live in the city for one year prior to the election.

Emanuel will testify at the hearing on Tuesday. The hearing on Monday addressed whether Emanuel's wife, Amy Rule, would have to testify.

Hearing officer Joseph Morris made the ruling Monday evening that Rules does not have to testify.

Emanuel's legal team had said that the effort to make Rule testify amounted to harassment and would have slowed down the process.

With the Board of Election having demanded the hearing be completed as soon as possible, attorneys were under pressure Monday to agree on whether or not Rule should testify.

"As you know, we're doing months worth of work in a matter of hours," said election attorney Burt Odelson, who raised questions months ago about Emanuel's candidacy.

Morris also acknowledged the quick pace.

"With everybody's agreement, we've set a pretty ambitious goal of starting the evidentiary hearing tomorrow, tomorrow morning," said Morris.

Emanuel's lawyers argued there was no need to call the former White House chief of staff's wife.

Even Odelson said he didn't think candidate's wives were fair game.

"We're not gonna press it," said Odelson. "I have to tell you, I have great respect for a man's family."

The two dozen or so other objectors, the vast majority of them not lawyers, wanted Rule to testify. Only she, they said, signed the actual contract to lease the house on N. Hermitage for just under $5,000 a month.

"Obviously she will sit down and talk with him about doing the lease for the house over on Hermitage," said objector Paul McKinley. "This is the wife - this is Rahm Emanuel's wife."

Also among the subpoenaed documents are the recently-filed amendments to the Emanuels' 2009 tax return. The forms, amended last month, claim full-time residency in Chicago, but the initial filing earlier this year claimed only part-time residency in the city.

"The document speaks for itself," said Odelson. "He declared himself to be a non-resident. I didn't do it. You didn't do it. He did it."

Emanuel will be the first person to testify when the hearing resumes Tuesday morning.

He will be questioned by lawyers and as many as two dozen objectors who are representing themselves.


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