Root: Lawsuit coming after Brown refused recount

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – Jim Root says he plans to sue after his opponent in the sheriff election said no to a recount.

Tony “Chubby” Brown was sworn in as Macon County sheriff after the Macon County Clerk’s office determined he won the election by one vote, changing the initial 99-vote lead Root had on election night. Root then asked for a discovery recount, in which two uncounted ballots in his favor were discovered. Brown told WAND-TV on Tuesday that he believes “the election is over” and that his focus is on the community.

Root says an “adversarial lawsuit” is likely going to happen at this point, along with "all the acrimony, costs and delay that follows". He says he plans to field a formal Notice of Contest and civil action. 

In a Wednesday press release, he added that he’s “disappointed” Brown wouldn’t support his “invitation to assure legitimacy” after the discovery of the ballots.

“Tony and I both fought hard to secure election,” Root said. “If the roles were reversed, I would not be comfortable hiding behind a one-vote flawed technical victory. Rather, I would embrace a full hand count to best assure that I held office legitimately. The law enforcement officers serving under me would deserve that certainty. I really believe that the public deserves to know the true winner without the frustrations of prolonged adversarial litigation.”

Root also says he would have been named the winner on Nov. 20 if not “for the negligence of the election authorities."

WAND has reached out to Brown for comment but has not yet heard back.

People can read Root’s full statement in the PDF document below.

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