A few years ago, I wrote an article about Alorton. "The Most Corrupt Village in America". I can't even begin to summarize it, but here's a taste.
Mayor Randy "Rambo" McCallum Sr. came into office telling cops, “I run this mother___” and ordered them to rob competing drug dealers and split the money with him. When drug dealers were busted, the seized drugs and money were brought to his house where he pocketed the money and resold the drugs.
McCallum Sr. stole so much money that there were no bank deposits for a year. When an undercover informant went to his house, he found crack cocaine on the kitchen table being prepped for sale.
Alorton’s police chief, Michael Baxton Sr., set up surveillance cameras in the police station that he could monitor from home to alert Mayor McCallum when the seized drugs and money were coming in.
The police chief went down for stealing Xbox video games from the trunk of a stolen car telling another cop, “This ain't (expletive), I'm gonna put you on some real (expletive), teach you how to be real police.”
Baxton Sr. had already been decertified for earlier felony convictions for theft and burglary and should not have even been serving as police chief.
There's more. There's more than anything you want to imagine or believe. And now there are new events in Alorton's political establishment.
The first agenda item under “new business” for tonight’s village board meeting after mayor elect Joann Reed’s swearing in is a proposal to buy her a new car at public expense for her exclusive use.
Before the meeting, McCallum said the information packet she received for the meeting contained no specific information about what kind of car Reed wants or how much it will cost.
“It was just a little piece of paper saying she wants a new car,” McCallum said, “Nothing else was on it. I’m going to vote against it.”
You might think that Reed would have other priorities.
Reed is facing prosecution by St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly. She is charged with felony vote buying and misdemeanor electioneering. If convicted of the felony charge, Kelly could ask a judge to remove her from office... Reed was elected in the April 4 municipal election, but it is the second time she has served as mayor. She was removed from the mayor’s office once before.
But it's okay. Because the pro-crime lobby got some insane laws on the books.
Her felony record was erased after she completed probation and treatment for substance abuse. Erasing her criminal record was a one time option under a special provision of Illinois law that provides that if an “independent evaluator” confirms that her crime was connected to substance abuse, then the record could be wiped clean if probation and treatment were completed.
Reed completed both treatment and probation Oct. 24 and her felony record was wiped clean, allowing her to again run for mayor in the April election.
I had written about Reed before.
Mayor JoAnn Reed, Alorton’s current mayor, faced her own set of charges before the election for smuggling a cell phone into jail after her niece had attacked a pregnant woman. The niece posted "I'm in jail but auntie snuck me my phone don't tell no 1" on Facebook.
Despite these charges, Reed won the election.
Reed, a former records clerk in an Illinois sheriff’s office, was not exactly a criminal mastermind. Back in 2004, she had been arrested for threatening the son of Mayor Randy McCallum with a flashlight that she pretended was a gun. During her time as a records clerk she accidentally sent a fax reading "Dismiss this case. The guy is the son of one of our deputies" to a newspaper, instead of to the village attorney.
This is what happens when a one party Democrat system controls government.
Her re-election backers? The good-old-boys above the bluffs who count on her to deliver a solidly Democratic bloc of voters willing to trade their ballots for some cash, booze and continued inattention to their poverty.
She got $1,500 in campaign cash from the law firm of county Democratic boss Robert Sprague, $1,000 from the firm of Belleville attorney Tom Keefe, $8,000 from her attorney Mark Scoggins and $1,000 from County Board Chairman Mark Kern.
They served her cash and she served them the public’s votes. She again is facing a felony, this time for vote buying and electioneering.