Notice a difference in the modus operandi of East St. Louis Township?
The new East St. Louis Township Supervisor Tommy Dancy said this: “Give us time, folks. We are going to get this right.”
The old East St. Louis Supervisor Oliver W. Hamilton would have said this: “Don’t give me time, folks. Amex spending was my right.”
The new guard is showing signs that corruption as usual is on its way out. Hamilton on March 1 gets sentenced for stealing public dollars for his own benefit. East St. Louis Council member Robert Eastern III is no longer making $21,600 for a no-work, no-show job. Hamilton’s sister, June Hamilton Dean, also faces corruption charges, and she is gone from the township payroll. Ernest Walker, who was paid $2,600 a month to cut the grass and clean, is gone.
Except for a single gas card, they eliminated the credit cards. Hamilton used his to run up $230,000 in charges that ranged from questionable to fraudulent.
Still, Kelvin Ellis is on the payroll. He is the former East St. Louis city administrator who served federal time after trying to have a witness killed.
Plus the trustees are just discovering itemized billing and detailed financial reports as tools to combat theft of public funds. Good for them, but sad that Government 101 is just now coming to East St. Louis Township.
A community steeped in a 45 percent poverty rate could not afford the excesses of the old township. It still can’t afford the leaner version just now learning to govern responsibly.
Instead of healing an obsolete form of government, perform a mercy killing and let the taxpayers keep their money.