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Local Election

NAACP changes forum moderator after candidate complaint

Bitter divorce proceeding prompted Flood's objection

Kane County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Flood
Kane County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Flood

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A moderator for a DuPage County NAACP that featured Kane County candidates for judge and state’s attorney was replaced after Kane County Judge Elizabeth Flood complained that he could not be impartial.

The forum on criminal justice is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 19 and requires advance registration, according to the website, dupagecountynaacp.org.

Flood objected to the scheduled moderator Antonio Hylton because he appeared before her in a divorce. The divorce began in 2014 under another judge and ended under Flood with her last ruling filed on Dec. 12, 2019.

Hylton is chairman of the Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee of the DuPage chapter of the NAACP.

President of the DuPage chapter, Michael Childress, said Flood spoke first with Vincent Gaddis, chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee, and he had agreed that Hylton would not moderate.

“Her concern was she did not want to have Mr. Hylton as the moderator because of some past experiences they had together,” Childress said. “I feel like Mr. Hylton would have done a good job and would have the highest integrity.”

But Childress said Gaddis forgot to tell Hylton, and when the event was publicized with Hylton as moderator, Flood’s husband called.

“I spoke with him and didn’t make a commitment at the time,” Childress said.

Childress, Hylton and Gaddis met following an NAACP meeting this week and determined that Hylton should not moderate, because Gaddis had promised that he would not.

“We’re all busy. He dropped the ball,” Childress said. “One of the things I do as president and one of my top priorities is that I want integrity to be at the core of everything we do. And we dropped the ball on that. And I don’t want to have a hint of impropriety when it comes to any of our elected officials. So Tony would not be part of the forum. … We did commit and we have to honor our word.”

Hylton said he moderated a similar forum in February that included Flood, Brittany Pedersen, Robert Spence and Jamie Mosser, as well as other candidates.

“It was the first time I ever moderated for the NAACP,” Hylton said.

In a text message, Flood said she didn’t realize Hylton was going to moderate in the February forum until she arrived.

“During the forum, he cut me off on one question and then praised my opponent (Pedersen) and told her she would make a good judge after her answer to another question,” Flood stated in a text. “I have never been a prima donna. I just expected a moderator who was not openly hostile to me and carrying a grudge about divorce court.”

In a text, Hylton described Flood’s concerns about his being a moderator as “utterly desperate and disingenuous.”

Hylton said Flood’s rulings obliterated his daughters’ college funds, his retirement account and left him bankrupt. Hylton said Flood ruled that his ex-wife be the sole beneficiary of his $1 million life insurance policy instead of his four daughters.

“If he doesn’t like my ruling, he needs to appeal,” Flood’s text stated.

“If someone wants to question my legal rulings, they need to do it in the courtroom,” Flood’s text stated. "Hylton has gone on so many rants about me on Facebook, I can’t even number them. … This is exactly proving my point why he should not be the moderator. He has every right to be mad at me. He just can’t then moderate an impartial event.”

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