Former East St. Louis councilman and city Democratic boss Kelvin Ellis apparently doesn't follow rules very well.
Not rules about elections and voting. Not rules about operating a prostitution ring out of East St. Louis City Hall. Not rules about paying your taxes. Not rules about trying to kill people whose existence threatens to send you to prison. Not rules about freedom set down by federal law or by a federal judge.
Ellis was convicted of tax evasion, obstruction and trying to have a witness killed. In 2005 U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan sentenced him to 10 years and told him not to work any job involving government.
He got out, was 19 days away from being done with supervised release and had lunch with newly convicted federal felon Oliver Hamilton, who as East St. Louis Township supervisor looted $230,000 in taxes from an impoverished community. An FBI agent snapped a photo of them lunching at Hardee's in Caseyville, which was consorting with a known felon and earned Ellis a trip back to the federal pen for violating the rules of his release.
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Now it comes out that Ellis also ignored Judge Reagan's order and did get himself a government job. He made $22,154 working as a "consultant" for East St. Louis Township, mainly working for his lunch buddy Hamilton. He supposedly was seeking grants, but the only "grant" received was the $22,154 that Ellis was handed by the township.
The kicker is that Ellis was admitting his government employment to the U.S. Probation Office. They did not notice or did not care that the judge's sentencing order was not being followed. As Ricky Ricardo would say, somebody's got some 'splainin' to do — although they refused when our reporter asked.
Whether Ellis will be in the pen past his Dec. 26 release date remains to be seen, but Judge Reagan previously has shown little patience with those who steal from the poor.
Ellis has certainly shown he does not do well in a less-restrictive environment in which rules can be seen as optional.