OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. – The first name currently appearing on the ballot for the upcoming Rich Township District School Board race is Komaa Mnyofu, a convicted felon and a man who has made hundreds of thousands of dollars suing the very district he wants to serve.
According to the Chicago Tribune, court records show that Mnyofu was found guilty in 1999 of child abduction under another name, Tyler Jones, for taking his child from a park and not returning him for two weeks.
After declining to comment on his conviction to the Tribune, Mnyofu published a post to his blog, Eye of the Storm 227, confirming the conviction, but blaming the guilty finding on “institutional racism.”
I was guilty of protecting my 12-year-old son, a crime dating all the way back to slavery when black parents were stripped of their children and faced with death for any attempt to protect their children or prevent their forced removal.
Mnyofu also wrote that he took his son after the child showed bruises.
The Tribune reports that appeal court records show that the judge said keeping the child out of school and not returning him to his mother “showed specific intent to avoid the terms of the visitation and custody court order.” He was sentenced to 30 months of probation.
Mnyofu wrote on his blog that the judge wanted to punish him for being a “smart uppity n*gger.”
According to the Tribune, current School Board President Cheryl Coleman has called on Mnyofu, whose name appears first on the ballot in his race, to stop campaigning.
“I think he should do what’s honorable for the community and not pursue it because that takes us through more litigation, more trouble, if he were to get elected,” Coleman said.
The news source also reports that, according to a 2013 Southtown newspaper report, Mnyofu has sued the district several times and received $340,000 in settlements.
“Mnyofu said in court records that he has been involved with at least 16 lawsuits, including a complaint against two Cook County judges and another against a police officer who gave him a traffic ticket across the border in Indiana,” says the news report.
He also filed a 2010 lawsuit claiming he was kicked out of school board meetings for criticizing the selection of a new superintendent.
“It’s very scary to have somebody in the No. 1 (position on the ballot) who’s been found guilty of a felony with child abduction,” says Coleman.
According to the Tribune, the Cook County clerk’s office has confirmed that convicted felons cannot run for elected office in Illinois.
The south suburban Thornton Township High Schools District recently endured a legal battle over whether a convicted felon whose conviction was expunged could serve on the board. In December, it was determined that he could not.
Mnyofu, however, has run for school board before, but was unsuccessful.