City Council candidate Margret Chin's alleged voter fraud lawsuit against rival PJ Kim was back in court this morning. Following the hearing, Josh Ehrlich, Chin's attorney, conceded he probably did not present enough evidence to prove the fraud allegations. Only about a third of the subpoenaed witnesses showed up, seriously hampering Ehrlich's case (more on that in a moment).
The most striking development this morning occurred outside the courtroom, after the proceedings had been adjourned. Talking with reporters, PJ Kim said the lawsuit is evidence that Chin can't accept that there's another Asian candidate in the race. Kim (who's Korean) said he wanted to represent the First District on the City Council – he asserted that Chin (who is Chinese) wants to be "the mayor of Chinatown." It's fair to say these comments are not sitting well with the Chin campaign. They will be releasing a statement shortly – we'll have more on the Kim/Chin war of words later this afternoon.
Now back to the proceedings before Leslie Lowenstein, the court appointed referee, this morning. About 10 witnesses were called to testify, all signature collectors for the Kim campaign. While there were some irregularities, Ehrlich was not able to establish a pattern of illegally altered petitions. He noted that 18 witnesses were "no shows." A spokesman for the Chin campaign has suggested that the Kim campaign encouraged witnesses to ignore the subpoenas.
Lowenstein will prepare a report early next week for State Supreme Court Judge Edward Lehner, who has scheduled a hearing on election matters Wednesday afternoon.