Weather Updates

Emanuel’s wife may have to fly to Chicago to testify in residency battle

Updated: April 19, 2011 5:18AM

Rahm Emanuel’s wife may have to fly in from Washington, D.C., to testify Tuesday in the Election Board case about whether or not her husband is eligible to run for mayor of Chicago.

Hearing officer Joe Morris tried sometimes in vain Friday to keep the hearing from devolving into a circus.

A room full of first-time objectors and activists kept trying to out-vote experienced election lawyers by demanding a “show of hands” on who wanted to pursue unorthodox strategies in the case.

Morris had to explain that shows of hands do not govern in a legal proceeding.

But the amateurs scored a victory with their insistence that they wanted to put Emanuel’s wife, Amy Rule, on the stand.

“I can’t think of anything in the world more pertinent to the case than calling Rahm Emanuel’s wife to testify: If she lives in Washington, D.C., and has to fly here to say they live in Chicago … am I missing something?” said objector student Alice Coffey.

Lawyers for the main objectors were prepared to accept stipulations and documents from Rule rather than having her fly in from Washington, D.C. — and that still might happen, Morris said. If Emanuel’s attorneys produce enough information over the weekend, Morris may quash the subpoena for Rule Monday morning.

“We object strenuously” to having to bring in Rule to testify, said Emanuel’s attorney Mike Kasper. “She is the mother of three young children and it’s no secret they attend school in Washington, D.C.”

Objector Denise Gilbert stood up and asked, “Has Mr. Emanuel’s wife ever heard of a baby-sitter or a nanny?”

Taping “Connected to Chicago,” to be broadcast at 2 p.m. Sunday on WLS-AM (890), Emanuel called summoning his wife dirty pool.

“I’ll answer the questions. I’m the one running for mayor. My wife has a responsibility, obviously, because we want the kids to finish school [in Washington D.C.] So, she’s taking care of them. If you have any questions, ask me,” he said.

Issuing a subpoena to try to compel his wife’s testimony is “a bridge too far,” Emanuel said.

“Respect the family. I’m in public service. I’m the one that’s running for mayor. If you have any questions, ask me. My family is my family and there’s a line you shouldn’t cross.”

Morris ended up tentatively siding with the activists on Rule. But on most of the more outlandish requests for witnesses, Morris ruled against them.

No, Morris ruled, he will not issue a subpoena to the head of the FBI in Chicago to ask if they have a “secret file” on Emanuel tracking his whereabouts.

“We certainly don’t need the secret files of the FBI to find out where Mr. Emanuel resided. We will have the opportunity to ask him that himself,” Morris told objector Jeffrey Joseph Black. Morris mockingly suggested Black subpoena Russia’s files on Emanuel.

Black, wearing an “Indict Rahm” button and video-taping the entire proceeding, incessantly interrupted Morris and everyone else during the more than two-hour hearing Friday, shouting that “So the process is criminally fraudulent at this point, let the record reflect.”

Morris repeatedly had to tell him, “Mr. Black, you do not have the floor” or “Mr. Black, I’ve been very tolerant, but only one of us is going to speak at a time.”

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.