Pay attention about felons

March 15, 2014 

When are Washington Park officials going to learn state law? Felons cannot serve in elected office in Illinois. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone in Washington Park. Sylvester Jackson resigned as mayor years ago after his conviction in a gambling corruption case. Darron Suggs resigned as trustee recently following his conviction for Medicaid fraud.

But criminal behavior doesn’t seem to trouble the Village Board. Members initially appointed Rosanda Suggs to fill her husband’s seat, which was offensive given the reason for his leaving. Thankfully, she resigned after just a few weeks.

But now the board has appointed Allen Ray Williams to fill the seat despite his felony convictions for bringing contraband into a penal institution, attempted burglary and attempted obstruction of justice. Sounds like a model citizen, right?

The two board members who could be reached for comment said they didn’t know about his criminal past. Didn’t board members check or do they just not care? This lack of attention to crucial detail is part of the reason Washington Park is always in chaos and without much hope.

Williams said his convictions were 10 years ago and he’s now fit for public service. Not according to state law. Will he resign, or will he make St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly waste time and money removing him? And will the Village Board get it right the next time? We already know the answers.

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