Metro-East News

Top BND videos in June: Official uses poor township’s credit card

Watch the most popular videos on from June:

▪  In a township with one of the highest poverty rates in Illinois, the man elected to help the poor has indulged in lavish and possibly unapproved spending of taxpayer money, including Las Vegas trips, $34 car washes and flowers and gifts for his political allies.

East St. Louis Township Supervisor Oliver Hamilton spent $84,970 over an 18-month period on an American Express card, according to township financial records released under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act as part of a Belleville News-Democrat investigation.

▪  A 32-year-old man passed away after a BMW motorcycle he was driving was involved in a crash in Fairview Heights.

Fairview Heights Police Department identified the motorcyclist as Jorge J. Marles, of Fairview Heights. Marles was transported to Memorial Hospital and then flown to St. Louis University Hospital after the crash occurred between the motorcycle and a Chevrolet Impala driven by a 19-year-old woman.

▪  Dozens of squad cars carrying officers from around the metro-east followed “a gentleman” one last time — to escort his body from Barnes Hospital in St. Louis to Fairview Heights.

Deputy Eric Browder, who inspired “Browder’s Brigade,” died after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 43, and had served as a corrections officer for nine years with the St. Clair Sheriff’s Department. He is survived by his wife, Becky, and daughter, Josie, 6.

▪  The drivers of two cars were cited in connection with a Fairview Heights crash that sent a motorcyclist to a hospital with severe injuries

According to Fairview Heights Police Department spokesman Tim Mueller, the driver of one of the vehicles was ticketed for failure to yield while the other was cited for driving without a valid license.

▪  The St. Clair Township Board did not change the road district’s budget to allow for more employees during the June 21 board meeting, which at times turned argumentative.

Highway Commissioner Skip Kernan wants five employees, but trustees have said his department should have four.