An investigative series by Belleville News-Democrat reporters Beth Hundsdorfer and George Pawlaczyk about East St. Louis Township Supervisor Oliver Hamilton’s use of a public credit card to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal purchases won a President’s Award from McClatchy.
The series led to criminal charges against Hamilton and others. Hundsdorfer and Pawlaczyk won for the second straight year and third time overall. They won last year for stories on local law enforcement’s failure to prosecute sexual assault and abuse cases.
Hamilton used the township credit card for items such as plane tickets to Las Vegas for himself and his wife, tires for a tractor used by his construction company, building supplies including drywall and paint, thousands of dollars in car washes and nearly $40,000 in gasoline.
Hamilton, who was charged with federal wire fraud and misuse of public funds, is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis.
Major stories in the News-Democrat’s Hamilton investigation include:
March 23: Oliver Hamilton sentencing memorandum