Metro-East News

FBI issues summons to East St. Louis treasurer

Current East St. Louis Treasurer Charlotte Moore stands inside the storage vault where many years of city records are stored. About a half hour before this photo was taken, FBI Special Agent Charles A. Willenborg, of the FBI's Fairview Heights office, served a subpoena to Moore asking her to appear in Federal Court with city paperwork from a period of time before she was treasurer. A predecessor -- Joe Lewis -- was the treasurer during the years the subpoena covers.
Current East St. Louis Treasurer Charlotte Moore stands inside the storage vault where many years of city records are stored. About a half hour before this photo was taken, FBI Special Agent Charles A. Willenborg, of the FBI's Fairview Heights office, served a subpoena to Moore asking her to appear in Federal Court with city paperwork from a period of time before she was treasurer. A predecessor -- Joe Lewis -- was the treasurer during the years the subpoena covers. News-Democrat

An FBI agent on Tuesday afternoon issued a summons to City Treasurer Charlotte Moore, ordering her to appear before a federal grand jury and provide the court with records related to city towing fees.

Earlier in the day, three other FBI agents showed up at East St. Louis City Hall, in what reportedly was the first step in bringing assistance to the city Police Department and shoring up its investigative procedures.

FBI special agent Charles A. Willenborg served Moore with the summons. She was ordered to appear before a federal grand jury in East St. Louis on Sept. 22 and to bring with her the following documents:

▪ All records related to towing fees from Sept. 1, 2012, to the present;

▪ All receipts of towing fees;

▪ Statements or reports generated in relation to towing fees;

▪ Correspondence and emails generated in relation to towing fees or towing policies.

Willenborg declined to comment. Moore said only that she plans “to cooperate fully” with the federal investigation.

Newly hired City Manager Alvin Parks said the first trio of agents was there to begin talks with him and the police chief on how the federal government can help the under-staffed police force. He said this is not the first time federal help has been brought into the city.

The FBI agents would not comment.

Employees said they didn’t know what was happening and were concerned that the FBI agents were there to shut the building down. Parks said that was not the case.

“They are here because they are interested in the East St. Louis Police Department standing up its integrity,” Parks said.

Some employees said it appeared that the Regulatory Affairs Department office was closed. Public Safety Director Todd Fulton was seen escorting the federal agents into the office Tuesday morning. But Parks said the office was never closed for business.

One of the things that was discussed was efforts to shore up the Police Department’s internal affairs investigations, Parks said. “They want to, and we want to, make sure it’s done in the proper way,” he said.

Parks said it was not a scheduled visit, but he had a feeling they would stop by because he knew they were in the community.

No records or files were removed from the building, the city manager said.

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.

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