Metro-East News

Hamilton resigns as East St. Louis township supervisor; replacement named

East St. Louis Township has a new supervisor.

Tommy Dancy will take over for Oliver Hamilton, according to township attorney Michael Wagner. The township board voted Thursday night to accept Hamilton’s resignation and to replace him with Dancy.

Hamilton pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count of federal wire fraud in connection with spending $40,000 on personal expenses on a publicly-supported American Express card, including a trip to Las Vegas, thousands of dollars for car washes and gifts for his political allies and friends.

Dancy could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

But Oliver Hamilton recommended his wife for a job before he resigned.

There had been discussion at a previous township board meeting about Belynda Hamilton, Oliver Hamilton’s wife, being trained to run the township’s food pantry. Board Member Edith Moore said Thursday that Belynda Hamilton would take over for Sandra Stith when Stith retires on Jan. 1. Stith has been paid a salary of $29,000.

Belynda Hamilton accompanied her husband on a township-financed trip to Las Vegas, according to federal court records. Wagner did not believe that any action was taken to hire her at Thursday’s meeting.

The East St. Louis Township Board, including Edith Moore, Michael “Rump” Roberts, Rickey Eastern and Troy Mosley, accepted Hamilton’s resignation. They also approved transferring the township’s account signatory responsibilities to Dancy.

Dancy, 66, is a former St. Clair County Board member and headed East St. Louis’ Department of Regulatory Affairs, until he was fired by his cousin and then-mayor Alvin Parks in 2011.

Hamilton also resigned from the St. Clair County Board on Thursday, according to a spokeswoman for County Board Chairman Mark Kern.

A BND investigation found that Hamilton spent more than $230,000 on the no-limit American Express card from January 2012 to June 2016. The investigation showed that Hamilton used the credit card to pay for trips to Las Vegas and elsewhere; thousands of dollars in gasoline for his Chevy Silverado pickup; more than $3,000 for car washes, detailing and oil changes; flowers and gifts for political allies; restaurant tabs and other purchases.

The card also was used to buy building materials, such as paint, drywall, lumber, cabinetry, power tools, tractor tires, locks, nails and bathroom fixtures. Hamilton is the owner of Hamilton Construction. Because the purchases were made with a township credit card, they were all exempt from state sales taxes.

Hamilton is scheduled to be sentenced on March 1.

Also charged in the township as part of the investigation:

▪  June Hamilton Dean, 53, of Swansea, who was charged with forgery and official misconduct. The charges stated Dean knowingly made a false document, a false letter of employment intended to defraud. Hamilton Dean, Oliver Hamilton’s sister, earned $33,000 a year from the township as a consultant. She also served as an East St. Louis City Council member.

▪  Township Board Member Edith Moore, 68, who was charged with three counts of forgery and voting violations stemming from a political battle for Democratic precinct committeeman in the 20th Precinct, where Moore was defeated. Moore is also the head of the East St. Louis Community Development Office, a former city manager and a former member of the East St. Louis Housing Authority Board.

▪  Township Board Member Michael “Rump” Roberts, 70, who was charged with official misconduct for allegedly accepting airline tickets to Las Vegas for him and his wife, paid for by the township.