Metro-East News

Village mayor kicked off Democratic committeeman ballot despite paying election fines

Washington Park Mayor Rickie Thomas paid $23,000 in election fines, but it was too late to keep Thomas from being kicked off the March 20 primary ballot for precinct committeeman.

Thomas, a Democrat, brought a receipt of payment to the St. Clair County Election Department on Monday but was told that because the deadline for certification as a candidate expired Jan. 17, his name would not appear on the ballot.

Thomas is the incumbent committeeman in Precinct 6 in Washington Park. He could not be reached for comment.

His name will not appear on the ballot, and he will not be allowed as a write-in, according to a county election official.

Matt Dietrich, a spokesman for the Illinois Board of Elections, said payments on behalf of Thomas for past due fines were received. He was fined for failing to file campaign contribution disclosure statements required by law, or filing them late.

The fines, ranging from $50 to $5,000, were paid by three political committees: Committee to Elect Rickie Thomas Village President ($1,700), Friends of Rickie Thomas ($13,150) and Canteen Township Democratic Committee ($8,150).

Dietrich said that while the fines were satisfied at the state level, “It is entirely up to the local election authority” as to whether to restore his name to the ballot after the certification deadline had passed.

Thomas’ Democratic opponent, Carlene Tucker, is now unopposed. Tucker, a frequent critic of Thomas, is a former member of the village Board of Trustees.

Democrat Alvin Parks, the supervisor of East St. Louis Township and a former mayor of East St. Louis, was also knocked off the ballot for the March 20 precinct committeeman race. Like Thomas, Parks missed the certification deadline for running for 23rd Precinct in the city because of unpaid fines levied by the state election board.

Parks owes $125,000 for failure to file campaign disclosure reports since 2011. He has declined to comment, but in a Feb. 3 letter to the city’s Democratic Central Committee, he said while he will not run “due to personal circumstances,” he will remain an active supporter of the East St. Louis Democratic organization.

George Pawlaczyk: 618-239-2625, @gapawlaczyk