Lawsuit: Madigan, Quinn political org made threats, committed fraud to keep young alderman candidate off ballot

By Scott Holland | Jan 28, 2019

Ill. Democratic Party Chairman and House Speaker Michael J. Madigan  

A teenaged Chicago City Council candidate has filed a federal lawsuit against Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and his political organization, as well as others whom he said illegally opposed his campaign.

David Krupa, 19, filed a complaint Jan. 28 in Chicago against Madigan, Alderman Marty Quinn, Citizens for Marty Quinn and the 13th Ward Democratic Organization. The complaint said the defendants “acted to physically threaten and intimidate” Krupa, “extended their wrath and terror tactics even to the voters who signed his nomination petitions” and “tried to run sheer fraud past a public election board, filing literally thousands of false statements with the Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago.”

In addition to being longtime Speaker of the Illinois House, Madigan also is chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party and of the 13th Ward Democratic Organization, as well as 13th ward Democratic committeeman. Quinn ran unopposed for the 13th Ward seat in 2011, and Krupa alleged “Quinn holds his aldermanic position exclusively through the political support of Madigan.”

Krupa is a Fenwick High School graduate who plans to study political science and business at DePaul University. In November he began circulating nomination petitions to challenge Quinn, and said his platform includes getting more police patrolling the ward, solving the city pension crisis and reining in property tax increases.

David Krupa

He accused the defendants of having him followed as he knocked on doors in search of petition signatures, at times threatening physical violence, making blackmail attempts based on false threats of embarrassing pictures and harassing him on social media “with persons using fake accounts and identities while making threats against (his) life and his family.”

Krupa nonetheless filed his nomination paperwork to be listed on the Feb. 26 ballot. He reported supplying 1,703 valid voter signatures, though the requirement was just 473. After the filing, he alleged, the “defendants expanded their conspiracy” to physically intimidate and harass voters and to commit elections fraud, including by getting people to sign forms revoking their signatures on Krupa’s petitions — even if those people hadn’t signed his petitions in the first place.

On Jan. 3, Krupa alleged, the defendants and their lawyers filed an objection under the name of Moeen Zahdan with the city elections board including “2,796 statements under oath of voters purportedly revoking signatures” on Krupa’s petitions. However, only 187 of those were signed by people who had actually signed a Krupa petition. He alleged the sworn statements were procured against the will of those voters. He said operatives engaged voters at their homes, denying entrance or threatening to cut off ward services until they signed revocation papers, as well as lying about the intent and effects of the forms they were signing.

The defendants later withdrew that objection “in the face of public outcry over their misconduct” and knowing Krupa still had enough valid signatures to stay on the ballot.

Formal allegations include violations of Krupa’s First Amendment rights to freedom of expression and association and his 14th Amendment equal protection rights — with two individual counts against each of the four named defendants — as well as civil conspiracy, conspiracy and deprivation of constitutional rights against all defendants.

In addition to a jury trial, Krupa wants the court to award compensatory and punitive damages as well as legal fees and to issue temporary and permanent injunctions barring the alleged conduct.

Representing Krupa in the matter are lawyers from the firm of Anthony J. Peraica & Associates Ltd., of Chicago.

Peraica is also representing another man, Jason Gonzales, who is also suing Madigan and his political organization for alleged dirty political tricks to defeat a bid by Gonzales to challenge Madigan in a Democratic primary election for Madigan’s Illinois House seat.

That lawsuit remains pending in Chicago federal court.

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Organizations in this Story

13th Ward Democratic Organization Anthony J Peraica and Associates Chicago Board of Elections Citizens for Marty Quinn City of Chicago Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

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