Sorock out of latest Wilmette school suit move
Wilmette resident Herbert Sorock, formerly a plaintiff in the Taxpayers United of America anti-referendum suit against Wilmette School District 39, is sitting out the next round of court action.
Sorock confirmed Monday that, although his name will continue to appear on the suit, he is not taking part in the most recent TUA effort; a petition filed by the Oak Park-based anti-tax group and an Oak Park resident, asking for leave to appeal the case’s April 11 Illinois Appellate Court dismissal to the Illinois Supreme Court.
District 39 officials said Monday the district has 14 days to respond to the filing, after which the Supreme Court would decide whether to accept the appeal.
“It’s yet another round of lengthy procedures,” he said. “Even though I’m 100 percent convinced we are right, we’ve been through quite a lot in the past year and only a small number of cases successfully get leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.”
District 39 officials said Monday they’d received notice that Taxpayers United had filed the petition, challenging the latest dismissal of their attempt to appeal their case, after losing at the circuit court level last year.
Taxpayers United and Sorock sued District 39 in May of 2011, trying to overturn the April 2011 tax rate referendum. Voters approved the 35-cent rate hike. They claimed the wording of the referendum was illegal, but Cook County Court Judge Rita M. Novak rejected the argument and ruled in the school district’s favor on June 23, 2011.
Later that year, Taxpayers United, which had filed, and lost, a similar suit against Oak Park School District 97, combined the two cases to appeal them. An Appellate Court panel dismissed the appeal attempts for wont of prosecution.
In a statement, District school board president Karen Donnan said she was disappointed at the continued court action, adding that the petition “will cause the District to spend additional dollars in legal fees that should be used for the education of children”
The district has already spent almost $48,000 on the suit, she said.
Sorock said he is “not looking to make the district pay additional legal fees,” adding that the attempt to go to the state’s top court will involve only Taxpayers United and the Oak Park plaintiff.