For Orland Park Mayor Pekau, the facts cast a shadow over O'Brien's legitimacy as a candidate
Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau thinks the same rules should apply to every one of his constituents, particularly those running for public office.
“I know she voted in Chicago in the March 2018 elections and didn’t register in Orland Park until August of that same year,” Pekau told West Cook News, referring to the the ongoing debate about Kelly O’Brien's legitimacy as a candidate for the Orland Park Board of Trustees position she hopes to be voted in to on April 2. “She’s been telling people she’s lived here in Orland Park since 2017, and that’s either not true or means she voted illegally back in Chicago in 2018.”
What is clear is that the village rules stipulate an individual must be a resident of the municipality for at least a year before qualifying to hold public office.
O'Brien is running as part of the "Orland Integrity Party Slate," a group that earlier this year sought to have their opponents for the three four-year terms kicked off the ballot on the grounds their petitions didn’t clearly distinguish what posts they were actually running to hold. Pekau said the situation with the party concerns him to no end in terms of what it could mean for the village.
“What worries me is someone moving into the community to run for office that’s backed by the political machine,” he said. “It makes me wonder who’s trying to get control of Orlando Park. If the Chicago Machine is going to be sending people out to run for office, people of those towns need to be well aware and prepared for it.”
While Pekau added that he remains unsure of what will happen should O’Brien emerge victorious, he is certain of one thing.
“I definitely think she should have to have lived here at least a year,” he said. “There’s no ambiguity in what the rule states.”