East St. Louis Township Supervisor admits to fraud, embezzling public funds

Oliver Hamilton

Oliver Hamilton

EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KPLR) – An elected leader in East St. Louis Township faces up to 20 years in federal prison after admitting to corruption charges, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Donald Boyce said Thursday.

According to prosecutors, Oliver Hamilton pleaded guilty to wire fraud for embezzling public money.

Hamilton, 62, became supervisor of East St. Louis Township in March 2011. As supervisor, Hamilton had direct access to taxpayer funds. He admitted in federal court that from the month he took office until June 2016, he used the township’s credit card for personal purchases, including airline tickets to Las Vegas.

Prior audits, commissioned by the township, failed to mention three of its supervisors charged about $280,000 to taxpayer-funded credit cards between 2012 and July 2016.

As part of his guilty plea, Hamilton admitted to abusing a position of public trust and to costing taxpayers between $40,000 and $95,000.

Hamilton will be sentenced March 1, 2017. While he’s on bond awaiting sentencing, Hamilton has been directed to remove himself from the township’s finances until his resignation takes full effect. He will also resign his other public positions as board member for both St. Clair County and the East Side Health District.

Hamilton was inducted into Fox 2’s ‘You Paid For It’ Hall of Shame this past October.

In November, Fox 2 reported accusations that Hamilton was illegally filling out ballots of registered voters across the city.