Cook County Recorder of Deeds Eugene Moore was more than a little ticked when he read comments in the Austin Weekly News from Ald. Ed Smith (28), who’s challenging Moore in next year’s election for the city’s recorder of deeds office.

“It is not true, what he says,” countered Moore, the city’s recorder of deeds since 1999.

AWN first reported that Smith would challenge Moore in our Sept. 13 issue, and followed up with additional reporting in the next week’s issue on Sept 20.

Smith leveled several accusations against Moore, including how Moore paid for a business trip to Hawaii and his Back-to-School picnic that took place late this summer at a Maywood High School.

“Any office that an elected official holds should be one that is chaired with integrity, character and responsibility, but I feel [Moore] has done none of that,” Smith alleged.

Moore called Smith’s comments “flagrantly false”.

He added that Smith has no legitimate argument with his record. Concerning his spending during a conference in Hawaii, Moore said the extra cost resulted from him having attended two separate conferences while there.

“I attended two conferences so that is a factor,” said Moore, adding that there is a special budget allocated for spending on trips and that he has never misused those funds.

Moore also said that his Aug. 8, Back-to-School picnic at Proviso East High School was the latest in an annual attempt to bring West Side students out to enjoy the final days of summer break. Moore said the high school is acutally on Cook County property and not owned by Maywood.

Moore said he’s hosted such events for eight years and has used his own funds to finance them.

“It is completely not true that taxpayer money was used for the event,” Moore insisted. “On the contrary, I used my own money and organized it myself.”

Smith claimed that the picnic was more of a political event, with some participants wearing “Eugene Moore T-Shirts.”

Moore dismissed this simply saying, “I have the right to present the event how I so chose. If it was held by someone else they could present it how they wanted. It’s a matter of choice.”

Moore added that he has received endorsements from many politicians in Austin arguing that the lack of committeemen support speaks volumes about Ald. Smith’s nearly 20-year record in office.

“If Smith has done so much for the West Side where is his support?” Moore asked.

Concerning his record as recorder of deeds, Moore said that patrons can now more quickly obtain information regarding their purchased properties.

“Since I’ve held the position of recorder of deeds my budget has been cut from $16 to $10 million,” he said. “It used to take weeks to get information into purchased properties. We have upgraded the office to allow patrons to get information in only a day or two.”

Josh Adams contributed to this article.