The recently-hired public safety director and the street superintendent are the latest employees to be laid off in East St. Louis.
Todd Fulton, a former Secret Service agent, retired early from that position to become the public safety director in East St. Louis, where he grew up. But after only three months on the job, he received a letter Monday telling him that effective Nov. 24, he is no longer an employee of the city. Fulton was being paid a $95,000 salary as the director of public safety and the director of the city’s Regulatory Affairs Department.
Fulton said he is disappointed but also relieved.
“I am disappointed because we were putting some good things in place that would make the city departments run more efficiently. I am relieved to be leaving the culture that exists there. I am very thankful to Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks for the opportunity. I have nothing but good things to say about her. She wants to see East St. Louis’ image turned around and she wants to see the city grow,” he said.
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He added, “I still had seven years left to work with the Secret Service. But, I came back home to help my community. I was tired of the perception that there is no integrity in East St. Louis. I thought I could change that, at the bare minimum. But, again, I am thankful for the opportunity.”
Fulton said he has no immediate plans of seeking employment. He plans “to spend more time with my family while I research other jobs.”
The other employee who was laid off is Robert Dukes, the street superintendent in the Public Works Department. City Manager Alvin L. Parks Jr. said Dukes was paid about $50,000 a year.
Parks said the layoffs are happening because the city has to shrink its budget by more than $1 million.
“Unfortunately, there will potentially be more layoffs coming,” Parks said.
One employee, Cortez Hood, was terminated by Jackson-Hicks. Parks returned Hood to his job as budget analyst a little more than two weeks ago. Parks said he never understood why Hood was terminated. Parks said Hood has been a tremendous help.