The first agenda item under “new business” for tonight’s village board meeting after mayor elect Joann Reed’s swearing in is a proposal to buy her a new car at public expense for her exclusive use.
Reed was sworn in at the beginning of the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at the village hall.
Trustee Gwen McCallum said the car was not voted on. “We’ll do it another day,” she said.
Before the meeting, McCallum said the information packet she received for the meeting contained no specific information about what kind of car Reed wants or how much it will cost.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
“It was just a little piece of paper saying she wants a new car,” McCallum said, “Nothing else was on it. I’m going to vote against it.”
Reed, 58, who could not be reached for comment.
McCallum is the wife of former Mayor Randy McCallum, who received the use of a vehicle during his term as mayor. Former Mayor Callie Mobley used a new Chevrolet Caprice bought by taxpayers that she had outfitted at public expense with special sport rims. Both Randy McCallum and Mobley were forced to resign and served federal prison terms for corruption in office.
The official meeting agenda, which contains no specific details about the car, simply states, “Approval of new vehicle for mayor’s office.”
Reed is facing prosecution by St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly. She is charged with felony vote buying and misdemeanor electioneering. If convicted of the felony charge, Kelly has said he could ask a judge to remove her from office.
Reed is facing prosecution by St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly. She is charged with felony vote buying and misdemeanor electioneering. If convicted of the felony charge, Kelly could ask a judge to remove her from office. Her attorney has said he is prepared to take the case to trial.
Reed was elected in the April 4 municipal election, but it is the second time she has served as mayor. She was removed from the mayor’s office once before.
In 2013, Reed was charged with four felony counts — two of official misconduct and two for allowing contraband to be brought into the village police department’s jail. She pleaded guilty to a single contraband count of bringing food and a cellular phone into the jail for a relative who was being held on an assault charge.
Her felony record was erased after she completed probation and treatment for substance abuse. Erasing her criminal record was a one time option under a special provision of Illinois law that provides that if an “independent evaluator” confirms that her crime was connected to substance abuse, then the record could be wiped clean if probation and treatment were completed.
Reed completed both treatment and probation Oct. 24 and her felony record was wiped clean, allowing her to again run for mayor in the April election. Kelly, the county prosecutor, has said he will not accept a plea deal for less than a felony in the latest vote fraud case.