Cooke v. Illinois State Board of Elections

Even Board of Elections officials must follow constitutional regulations regarding campaign financing and spending.

This case began in February 2016 after David Cooke, a Streator resident, filed a complaint with the Illinois State Board of Elections alleging that the Committee for Frank J. Mautino violated the Illinois Election Code. Attorneys from the Liberty Justice Center have provided free legal representation to Cooke in this case since September 2016.

In his complaint to the state elections board, Cooke alleged that Mautino violated state elections code in two ways:

1) Mautino’s campaign committee made more than $225,000 in payments to Happy’s Super Service Station in Spring Valley, Ill. between 1999 and 2015. These payments were for gas and repairs of vehicles privately owned by Mautino’s family and friends. Direct payments for gas and repairs of privately owned vehicles by campaign committees are illegal under Illinois law. Individuals who use privately owned vehicles for campaign purposes may only be reimbursed based on actual mileage.

2) Mautino’s campaign committee reported that it also made nearly $200,000 in “expenditures” to Spring Valley City Bank, but the committee’s former treasurer has admitted these actually were cash withdrawals from the committee’s checking account that were spent elsewhere. The campaign committee never reported which vendors or individuals actually received the money.

Frank Mautino was appointed Auditor General of Illinois by the Illinois legislature in January 2016. Prior to taking statewide office, Mautino served as a state representative from Spring Valley, Ill. for 24 years.


Jeffrey Schwab

Jeffrey M. Schwab

Jeffrey M. Schwab is a Senior Counsel at the Liberty Justice Center, where he litigates cases to protect the rights to free speech, economic liberty, private property and other Constitutional rights in both federal and state courts across the country.

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Case In The News

Illinois Times
March 25, 2021

(Illinois Times)—Leftover pizza could land a politician in trouble, according to a lawyer for Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino, who is asking the Illinois Supreme Court to overrule an appellate court that’s upheld allegations of improper campaign spending while Mautino was a legislator. The amount of money involved isn’t clear....



Cooke v. Illinois State Board of Elections






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