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Cicero President Larry Dominick’s brother testifies against him to election board

Cicero Town President Larry Dominick  |  Sun-Times files

Cicero Town President Larry Dominick | Sun-Times files

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Updated: February 15, 2013 6:28AM

Cicero’s Town Hall opened Sunday for an election board hearing that added a new and bitter chapter to the long-running family feud between Cicero President Larry Dominick and brother Richard Dominick.

Although he denied harboring a grudge, Richard Dominick testified for the effort to have Larry Dominick disqualified from being a candidate for a third term in the Feb. 26 election.

And Richard Dominick acknowledged to the election board that he once planted a secret recording device at their mother’s house, adding that he had their mother’s consent to do so.

Larry Dominick did not attend Sunday’s hearing.

“Me and Larry used to be close,” Richard Dominick testified.

They no longer talk because, Richard Dominick said, “I didn’t like what he was doing in the town.” He has circulated nominating petitions for a challenger to his brother in next month’s election.

Larry Dominick’s opponents say he should be thrown off the ballot because he built a new garage at his home without paying permit fees and was part-owner of a plumbing business that failed to pay license fees.

On Friday, Larry Dominick testified in the case, denying he has ever been a partner in the company. But Richard Dominick told the election board he worked for the company once and knew it was owned partly by the brother he repeatedly referred to in testimony as “Lar.”

Richard Dominick said that Larry Dominick “controlled all the money” for the company in a partnership with friend George Hunter. Richard Dominick added that the company paid him in cash but he never paid taxes on that income.

The Dominick brothers’ split “started in 2007, when [Larry Dominick] gave George Hunter that no-bid contract,” Richard Dominick said. The Chicago Sun-Times reported in 2011 that the company got $1.8 million in business from the Town of Cicero despite never bidding for a contract or signing any contract.

Richard Dominick said he knew the company never obtained a business license because another brother, George Dominick, recently filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking such documents from Cicero officials.

George Dominick attended the hearing Sunday, though he is not a witness in the election board case.

“They don’t get along,” Richard Dominick said of his brothers. “They never did.”

Under cross-examination from one of Larry Dominick’s lawyers, Richard Dominick acknowledged placing a recording device in his mother’s home. “I didn’t do it secretly, because she agreed to it,” Richard Dominick said.

Richard Dominick had filed a lawsuit against the town and Larry Dominick contending that he was fired from a town board for telling the IRS about illegal activities involving Larry Dominick.

In the lobby of the Town Hall after Richard Dominick’s testimony, town spokesman Ray Hanania said, “Anything that Richard says is highly suspect.”

Hanania said Larry Dominick had filed a complaint with federal authorities about Richard Dominick’s effort to secretly tape him at their mother’s home.

The brotherly spite may harm the town president’s feelings more than his political future. Earlier Sunday, the election board sided with Larry Dominick’s lawyers in a ruling that could make it very difficult for those objecting to his candidacy.

The board said the only relevant evidence in the case would be either an admission by the town president of a debt “he knows he should have paid” or proof that the town had demanded payment of fees. Larry Dominick’s lawyers say the town never cited him for failing to get permits and has not called on him to pay any outstanding fees.

The election board will reconvene Wednesday afternoon to deliberate and render a decision.

Contributing: Mitch Dudek

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