Vicki Schneider, the Ward 5 O'Fallon City Council candidate who was booted off the ballot in January after officials failed to certify her candidacy, has filed a lawsuit against O'Fallon City Clerk Pam Clement in efforts to get her name back on the ballot.
Schneider, a realtor and former state representative, says Clement refused to certify her candidacy based on an incorrect opinion that Schneider was behind on paying utility bills for properties she owned.
Clement, on Jan. 22, sent a final list of candidates to the Election Authority and said she could not certify Schneider—or Jim Reiter, another Ward 5 candidate—because of section 115.346 of the Revised Missouri State Statues, which states that "persons in arrears for municipal taxes or fees shall not be candidates for municipal office."
At issue, according to a letter from Clement to Schneider, is whether Schneider owed trash or water and sewer fees on three properties that Schneider owns in O'Fallon.
Schneider contests the amounts charged by the city—in each case, less than $100—were either not owed or owed by others, namely her tenants.
Further, the lawsuit says, Clement's decision to exclude Schneider from the ballot was unconstitutional.
Schneider faces a Feb. 19 deadline to get her name back on the ballot, which means the court has just more than two weeks to conduct a hearing and issue a ruling.
St. Charles County Director of Elections Rich Chrismer, the official who will print the ballots and conduct the election, was also named in the suit as a respondent.