Editorials

East St. Louis Township’s new captain adds crew of cronies

East St. Louis Township Supervisor Alvin Parks says he’ll fix township government by bringing in his own people. Trouble is, his people are the same old cronies and family members.
East St. Louis Township Supervisor Alvin Parks says he’ll fix township government by bringing in his own people. Trouble is, his people are the same old cronies and family members. Photo illustration

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

East St. Louis Township Supervisor Alvin Parks thinks the best way to cast out the evil spirits left behind by his thieving predecessor, Oliver W. Hamilton, is to cast out all the old township workers and replace them with his people.

His people include his sister at $40,000 plus benefits to do administrative work that sure sounds like the supervisor’s job. His people includes a $25,000 plus benefits “consultant,” Lonzo Greenwood, the city party boss, city school board member and father of the state representative.

New brooms do not sweep clean by continuing the cronyism and nepotism that are the hallmarks of local politics. Having your own people in position means you have absolute power to do bad stuff with public money, especially in an excess layer of government with no legitimate public purpose other than to provide jobs for your friends and groom voters with hams and cold cut trays to keep your people in power.

Hamilton was convicted of taking $40,000, we think he took $230,000 and Parks says $600,000 appears to be missing. Parks can’t say exactly, because the FBI has a lot of the township financial records and is still probing.

Hamilton apparently used township funds to prove to the feds he was solvent enough to gain federal contracts for his construction company.

“I don’t want to get Oliver in any more trouble but that’s what happened,” Parks said. “The public should know. ... The newspaper just hit the tip of the iceberg.”

Iceberg. Which makes East St. Louis Township the Titanic?

If only we could sink township government that easily.

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