Alorton Mayor Joann Reed believes in public service.
And she expects her public to serve her well.
A new car, for openers. What kind?
Well, the kind that befits the triumphant return of the mayor of a village with 2,000 residents where half of them live in poverty. The kind that befits the third mayor to be removed from office for a felony conviction. Something at least as good as the Caprice with sport rims that predecessor Callie Mobley had village taxpayers buy for her.
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Reed slipped out of the job-limiting felony label by claiming her substance abuse was responsible for her sneaking a cell phone to her niece at the village jail. She had to be under the influence, because she more than anyone should know that was a no-no because she for years managed jail records for the St. Clair County Sheriff.
She ended her probation just days before the Alorton mayor election. The treatment cleared the felony from her record so she could take office after being removed from the same office because of it.
Her re-election backers? The good-old-boys above the bluffs who count on her to deliver a solidly Democratic bloc of voters willing to trade their ballots for some cash, booze and continued inattention to their poverty.
She got $1,500 in campaign cash from the law firm of county Democratic boss Robert Sprague, $1,000 from the firm of Belleville attorney Tom Keefe, $8,000 from her attorney Mark Scoggins and $1,000 from County Board Chairman Mark Kern.
They served her cash and she served them the public’s votes. She again is facing a felony, this time for vote buying and electioneering.
And after this felony conviction she will, again, be removed from office, making her both the third and the fourth mayor lost to the poor, corrupted village.