Blurred lines lead to felony

July 11, 2014 

JoAnn Reed said that Thursday -- the day she pleaded guilty to a felony charge and resigned as mayor of Alorton -- was the hardest day of her life. But she still didn't seem to fully grasp how she ended up in this predicament.

As part of the plea deal, Reed agreed to resign not only her elected post but from her job of 28 years with the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department. Her crime: She snuck a cellphone into the Alorton Jail for her niece, an item not allowed.

On Thursday, Reed resorted to the "everybody does it" excuse to justify her actions: "I have been told by numerous officers that bringing money, cellphones and cigarettes into the jail is common practice."

She perhaps used that same excuse in 2011 when she mistakenly faxed a letter to our office asking that a ticket be fixed for the son of a sheriff's deputy.

As a political insider, Reed lost sight of life's boundaries. As an unemployed felon, she might regain perspective.

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