Metro-East News

Questions continue about Stookey Township appointed trustee’s past

Stookey Township Trustees Curtis Williams, Cynthia Bingham, Ryan Stookey, Clerk Les Greene, Supervisor David Bone and Trustee Thomas Kroupa read minutes on Tuesday from a previous meeting. During Tuesday’s meeting, resident Dan Weaver questioned whether Bingham should be on the board.
Stookey Township Trustees Curtis Williams, Cynthia Bingham, Ryan Stookey, Clerk Les Greene, Supervisor David Bone and Trustee Thomas Kroupa read minutes on Tuesday from a previous meeting. During Tuesday’s meeting, resident Dan Weaver questioned whether Bingham should be on the board. jbustos@bnd.com

A Stookey Township resident on Tuesday continued to question whether a newly-appointed trustee, who has had drug issues in the past, should be on the board.

At the meeting, resident, Dan Weaver wanted to question trustee Cynthia Bingham at Tuesday’s township board meeting about the discipline she received from the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation, but Supervisor David Bone cut him off.

“We’re not going to go there; it has nothing to with anything with respect to Stookey Township,” Bone said.

“This is about Stookey Township, and this is about somebody who isn’t capable of doing the job,” Weaver responded.

According to the IDFPR website, Bingham, who is a registered nurse, had her nursing licenses suspended for three months in 2016 and is now is under probation until February 2018 because she had been cited by the Illinois Department of Public Health for having incidences of “substandard quality of care of residents, failure to evaluate the effectiveness of residents care plans.”

Bingham, who was appointed to the township board last month to replace Steve Gomric, also was under IDFPR probation from September 2004 to May 2016 for “excessive or habitual drug use and is impaired” according to the IDFPR website.

This is about Stookey Township, and this is about somebody who isn’t capable of doing the job.

Stookey Township resident Dan Weaver

“If they’re ... incapable of doing a nursing job, their profession, what makes me think they’re going to do a good job?” Weaver said. “She’s just a ‘yes’ person for Dave Bone, voting his way.”

In 2002, Bingham entered drug rehab, and has been a recovering addict for 15 years, she said. Bingham would not be specific about the type of drugs.

“It was all resolved last year,” Bingham said. “I don’t see it as an issue. Recovering alcoholics and drug addicts maintain positions in the community all the time.”

In regards to her license being suspended for “substandard quality,” Bingham said part of her job is to go into nursing homes that have issues.

“It’s part of my job to go in and help fix those situations,” Bingham said.

The department of health came in and discovered issues at the Wood River nursing home where she had only been in the director of nursing position for three weeks, she said.

It was all resolved last year. I don’t see it as an issue. Recovering alcoholics and drug addicts maintain positions in the community all the time.

Cynthia Bingham, Stookey Township trustee

“The director of nursing takes the fall for that,” Bingham said.

“You’re in a position for only three weeks. It takes longer than that to fix a home that has a lot of problems,” Bingham said. “It takes six months to years to fix those problems.”

Bingham now works as the assistant director of nursing at Willowcreek Rehab and Nursing.

A petition to have Bingham thrown off of the ballot in April was rejected Tuesday by the St. Clair County Electoral Board.

Stookey Township resident Philip Powe filed an objection to Bingham’s being on the ballot, saying she used a nickname, “Cindy,” on her nominating petitions.

Bingham was allowed to stay on the ballot, as Illinois election law allows candidates to use nicknames on petitions, according to St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly.

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