Metro-East News

June 2, 2014

Convicted trustee again on Washington Park payroll

The former Washington Park village trustee who was forced to resign after he pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud is once again on the village's payroll.

Darron Suggs, 39, was hired in May by the Board of Trustees as an "administrative aid to the mayor." He will be paid $600 a week.

Repeated attempts to get a comment from Mayor Ann Rodgers were not successful. Other trustees either could not be reached or declined to comment.

Village Clerk Ricky Thomas was not at the meeting but confirmed that Suggs was hired by the board as "an administrative aid to the mayor." Thomas said he will be paid $15 an hour and work 80 hours in a two-week pay period.

Suggs also has been unavailable for comment. He was convicted on federal charges for stealing $64,867 from Medicaid's personal assistant program. The money he stole was intended to pay for personal care of people enrolled in the program.

U.S. District Chief Judge David Herndon ordered Suggs to repay the money he stole from the Medicaid program.

Thomas said Suggs was hired the third Tuesday of May and he started work the following day. "I was at the village hall and saw him there," Thomas said.

As a result of his guilty plea, Suggs resigned from his job with the St. Clair County Probation Department and from his seat as a village trustee.

The Washington Park board of trustees unanimously voted to seat his wife, Rosanda Suggs. She resigned shortly after a story about the appointment appeared in the Belleville News Democrat.

Suggs claimed and was paid by Medicaid for hours that he knew he didn't work. That money was intended for the care of his mother and another woman who was not identified.

The intent of the personal assistant program is to enable disabled or seniors who need help to stay in their homes rather than be placed in a care facility.

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