Editorials

Collinsville needs Good Government 101

Collinsville City Councilwoman is suing her own city for $225,000 after records compiled about her, including 20 personal purchases on city accounts, were released and she quit her city job.
Collinsville City Councilwoman is suing her own city for $225,000 after records compiled about her, including 20 personal purchases on city accounts, were released and she quit her city job. znizami@bnd.com

Collinsville City Councilwoman Cheryl Brombolich filed a federal lawsuit claiming the disclosure of city documents embarrassed her. She wants $225,000 from the city for lost wages after she quit her city job.

Let’s all try to follow the logic here.

Brombolich was caught using city credit cards and accounts for 20 personal purchases. She was repeatedly chastized for the practice and told it violated city policy. She cheated the government out of sales taxes whenever she used a city account. The city manager was getting ready to fire her, so she beat him to the punch by quitting and thus saved her pension.

Now she is suing the city government, which is kind of like suing herself. She wants wages from a job she quit. She wants $225,000 from taxpayers to make up for her move to keep the taxpayer-funded pension that she by rights should never collect because she was likely within hours or days of being fired for cause.

Amazing. Some ethical blind spots here that your could drive a dump truck past.

Here’s a different potential path for Brombolich: Try taking that nifty Good Government 101 course that Southwestern Illinois College and St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly are putting on for a second time. The classes on ethics and keeping government leaders out of jail might prove instructive in the land of blurred public-private lines and where the mayor thinks dirt is free unless you get caught.

A star pupil might learn that public service is not about personal enrichment, that the taxpayers’ money is not yours to spend however you see fit and that when you are wrong you should admit it and face the consequences instead of going full throttle on the righteous indignation.

But, alas, based on this federal suit and past comprehension of right versus wrong, Brombolich may be more likely to find herself being kept after class.

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