Lee County
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John Searls
James Morrisey vs John Searls

States Atty. James E Bales today filed a "quo warranto" complaint on behalf of Jams Morrisey, Amboy, against John Searls, newly-elected Amboy township road commissioner.

The motion was filed on request of Atty. Robert Bessie, Sterling, with the circuit clerks office. Bales explained that his action was only a legal formality and that Bessie will represent the plaintiff.

"Quo warranto" is a writ to inquire by what authority Searls claims to hold and excerise the office of road commissioner, Bales explained.

Searls defeated Morrisey by 81 votes in the recent Amboy township election. Morrisey was the incumbent for the job.

Searls was committed to a mental institution June 12, 1946 and released Feb. 9, 1947, as "improved". Searls had his full rights restored in Lee County Court March 14, 1955.

Dixon Telegraph 25 April 1955

Circuit Judge Robert Bracken today dismissed a "quo warranto" complaint filed in behalf of James Morrissey, Amboy and upheld the nomination of John Searls, Amboy as Amboy township road commissioner.

Bracken ended an hour long legal battle over eligibility and qualifications by citing from the Illinois statutes himself. He said that any objections had to be filed within 5 days of the filing of the nomination and the nomination papers.

Searls defeated the incumbent James Morrissey April 5 by 81 votes. 643 to 562. He was nominated to office April 25. Actually the "quo warranto' was filed April 25 but Morrissey Attorneys Robert Besse and Vern Frye, both of Sterling failed to show that the complaint had been filed within the allotted time.

Searls attorney Thomas Keegan, Rockford, explained that Searls had been committed to a mental institution on June 12, 1946 and had been released Feb.9, 1947 as improved and had his full rights restored in Lee County Court March 14, 1955.

The plaintiffs based their case on the fact that Searls filed his petition for public office Jan. 11, 1955 before his civil rights had been restored in a court of law.

Dixon Evening Telegraph 11 May 1955

The legal squable between James Morrissey and John Searls, both of Amboy, over the Amboy township road commissioner job, flared anew today when Morrissey's attorney Robert Besse, Sterling, filed a motion to "set aside the judgment order and grant a new hearing". Dixon Evening Telegraph 13 May 1955

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