Metro East residents angry over corruption charges

EAST ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Angry reaction Monday night after nine people in Metro East, many of them elected officials, were indicted in a public integrity investigation. East St. Louis Councilwoman June Hamilton Dean was charged with public contractor misconduct and forgery. Prosecutors said she and her brother Oliver were paid money from grants for a violence reduction program called Ceasefire. St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said, “You have these two individuals one now having pled guilty in federal court one now in state court whose phony baloney jobs have been funded by this so-called Ceasefire grant.”

East. St. Louis Township Trustee, 70-year-old Michael Roberts was accused of going to Las Vegas with his wife for a personal trip and paying for it by using township funds. Another trustee, 68-year-old Edith Moore is charged with violating voting laws. Kelly added, “The people’s trust in our public institutions is frayed but our best hope has been and still is the law.”

East St. Louis is not a community that is flush with cash. When local leaders are charged with using government funds for themselves and violating laws that makes citizens upset but not surprised.

Citizen Gary Wilson said, “It makes me angry but what can I do? I’m just one person one voice.

Ruth Wells, also a citizen added, “I’m glad they’re finally doing something about it so it’s something that’s been going on citizens don’t feel safe nobody we can trust.”

A Washington Park police officer was charged with giving a state trooper false information concerning a car accident he was involved in.

The former mayor of Alorton, 58-year-old JoAnn Reed was charged with using money to influence voters.  Federal, state and local agencies worked together on Operation Watchtower which resulted in all the arrests.