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Former Bear Steve McMichael’s mayoral campaign hits a snag in Romeoville

Romeoville Mayoral candidate Steve McMichael (below right) is seen seated before Romeoville Mayor John Noak gives his state village address

Romeoville Mayoral candidate Steve McMichael (below right) is seen seated before Romeoville Mayor John Noak gives his state of the village address in the JFK Sports Center at Lewis University Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, at One University Parkway in Romeoville. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 10, 2013 5:58PM

In politics, as in football, there are rules.

At least one political player in the village of Romeoville believes former Chicago Bear Steve McMichael has thumbed his nose at the rules in the race for village president.

Village trustee Ken Griffin claims McMichael — who is challenging Romeoville’s current mayor, John Noak, as well as former Mayor Fred Dewald in April — violated state campaign laws by failing to file necessary campaign paperwork, fundraising and expenses with the state.

Griffin filed a complaint with the state board of elections Dec. 26, the day McMichael filed his petitions to run for office.

“He thinks this is sour grapes,” Griffin said. “But the bottom line is ... if you can’t follow the law before you get elected, why would you follow the law after? I just want to make sure we follow the law when we do things.”

McMichael — who briefly attended the Romeoville Chamber of Commerce’s State of the Village program at Lewis University on Tuesday afternoon but left as Noak began his speech — declined to comment on the complaint. Noak also declined comment on the issue.

“I’m not a knee-jerk reactionary,” McMichael said.

He also said reports that he scheduled a Tuesday morning press conference on the issue were incorrect. McMichael was at village hall Tuesday morning to pick up permits to post campaign signs, but a “concerned citizen” had alerted the media that he would be there, he said.

McMichael said there is a question about how and when Griffin filed his complaint, and that he has a lawyer looking it over and would comment at a later date.

Griffin said he filed the complaint remotely while on vacation with his family in California.

The complaint states that the committee supporting McMichael’s candidacy, Citizens for Steve McMichael, did not file a statement of organization within 10 days of raising or spending $3,000.

The Chicago Slaughter, a professional indoor football team in Hoffman Estates, also violated campaign law by failing to report the cost of “Mongo for Mayor” T-shirts and ads for the shirts on the team’s website, the complaint claims.

While McMichael’s committee filed a statement of organization in early December, the campaign had already paid a public relations spokeswoman and produced campaign buttons that would count toward the $3,000 threshold, the complaint states.

In October, a “meet and greet” for McMichael was held that included food and drinks from Mongo McMichael’s restaurant — and no “paid for” disclosure on its flier. McMichael has said he personally has no ownership in the restaurant.

The restaurant also blanketed the Romeoville area and surrounding communities with an ad in the mail that included “McMichael for Mayor” without proper disclosure, according to the complaint.

Griffin said his complaint will not keep McMichael off the ballot.

“He’s on the ballot and he’s running,” Griffin said. “I just want to make sure he’s doing it legally.”

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