Editorials

Reflecting Crazyville’s proud values

Crazyville’s leaders said they didn’t have enough information to act regarding the motel of ill repute that welcomes interstate travelers to their village.

Village trustees said news accounts weren’t enough for them. A very visible police raid, even a request from St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly to shut down the Rodeway Inn as a nuisance business wasn’t enough.

But if they needed more, did any of the elected Caseyville leaders take it upon themselves to gather more information, talk to their police chief, call Kelly or otherwise divine whether the reports were true before voting 4-2 that it was OK for the Rodeway Inn to continue as a place where children were pimped out? By voting in favor of the business, they consented to having a brothel complete with continental breakfast.

Illinois State Police and Caseyville cops raided the motel several weeks ago, and the fact that some of them were undercover narcotics agents assigned to the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois should tell you something. Motel owner Popatel “Pete” Patel was charged with promoting prostitution and soliciting a minor.

The vote also belies Mayor Leonard Black’s grand pronouncement: “As long as I am mayor of Caseyville and a resident of Caseyville, I will not tolerate any business or activity in our community that doesn’t reflect the proud values of the citizens of Caseyville.”

So the Rodeway Inn reflects the proud values of Caseyville? Good to know.

At least this matter will not rest with the poor judgment of Caseyville trustees Brenda Williams, John Buckley, G.W. Scott and Wally Abernathy. Kelly petitioned the court to close the motel at the intersection of Interstate 64 and Illinois 157, so values other than Caseyville’s will be brought to bear.

Next time the cops raid a motel in Caseyville, maybe they should give the elected leaders more of a signal that something’s wrong in town that needs fixing. Maybe a red light?

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