It's day two at the Chicago Board of Elections in the hearing to decide if Chicago mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel has been a resident of Chicago for the past year and, therefore, is eligible to be on the February 2011 ballot. After a spectacular first day of questioning the candidate himself, it was time for his tenant to answer some queries.
Emanuel renter Laurie Halpin, wife of former
mayoral candidate Ron Halpin, took to the stand to face Burt Odelson,
the lead counsel for several objectors. Odelson quickly opened up a line
of questioning with her about the possessions located in Emanuel's
North Side home when she and her family moved into it in late August
Yesterday, Emanuel testified that his family left around 100 boxes in
the home, containing familial items like china, a wedding gown, a
leather jacket, and more. But Halpin said she never saw such items or
boxes in the basement of the home or elsewhere. During several questions
from Joseph Morris, the hearing officer, Halpin said she did not have
access to two areas of the home -- a plywood door behind shelves in the
basement, which she describes as going "to the outside of the house,"
and a door near the master bedroom. She said that no one from the
Emanuel family ever inquired with her about the items during her
family's time in the home. Odelson did not call Ron Halpin to testify.
After the hearing, Halpin laughed off questions about whether her testimony was
politically motivated. Asked by a reporter after the hearing if she
believed that the Emanuel family heirlooms were in her house, Halpin
said, "If they are buried in those two places somewhere, I don't know
about them" referring to the two spaces to which she does not have access.
UPDATE (5:00 p.m.): Emanuel's attorneys have started their case, first calling a woman named
Mee-kim Chavez, an Emanuel family friend. During questioning she said
that she helped Emanuel's wife box up valuable family heirlooms -- like
stemware, kids' drawings, and various mementos -- during the winter of
2008 and placed at least 20 of those boxes into a crawl space in the basement of Emanuel's home. This is apparently one of the places that renter Laurie Halpin said that she did not have access to earlier in the day. Chavez said
during questions from Burt Odelson that "it was a pretty niced-sized