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Wiley Rein Represents Chevy Chase Voters Supporting Candidate Who Won Town Council Seat in Disputed Election

May 18, 2015

Washington, DC — Wiley Rein LLP represented a coalition of voters pro bono who supported local candidate Fred Cecere in a dispute over his election to the Town Council of Chevy Chase, Maryland. Dr. Cecere, a retired physician, was a write-in candidate who unexpectedly garnered more votes than vice mayor and longtime council member Pat Burda—and ultimately won one of two open seats on the council.

The election was held on Tuesday, May 5, and on the following Thursday, the town’s election board declined to certify the results, referring the matter to the town’s ethics commission for review in relation to the timing of Dr. Cecere’s financial disclosure filing.

On Monday, May 11, Chevy Chase’s three-person ethics commission decided by a 2-1 vote that, unlike the declared candidates, Dr. Cecere hadn’t been obligated to file a financial disclosure form because he hadn’t gone through the official nominating process.

Caleb P. Burns, a partner in Wiley Rein’s Election Law & Government Ethics Practice , provided pro bono representation in this matter, along with partner Thomas W. Kirby and associate Stephen J. Kenny*.

Wiley Rein has one of the premier Election Law & Government Ethics practices in the country, regularly advising clients on the laws and rules pertaining to political law including federal and state regulation of lobbying, political contributions, political action committees (PAC), ethics, and the use of corporate facilities for political purposes. In addition, Wiley Rein provides significant pro bono legal services and charitable contributions to the local community every year.

The disputed election was reported in The Washington Post and on The Tony Kornheiser Show.