Three sentenced, three more charged in vote fraud crackdown
Three Metro East residents have been convicted of election law violations this year, according to a summary report released last week by the Illinois State Police’s St. Clair County Public Integrity Task Force. Charges against three more individuals were issued last month, according to the report.
Aunye Mabry, 28, of Belleville, plead guilty, in August, to class 3 felony perjury after improperly submitting a candidate petition, according to the task force. Mabry was arrested March 23 for falsely assuring county officials that signatures on the petition, circulated between Dec. 16 and Dec. 19, 2016, were collected in her presence between.
After pleading guilty Aug. 22, Mabry was sentenced to 18 months of probation and 40 hours of community service. She has agreed not to hold any public office and forgo employment by any public entity during the probation period.
She was originally accused of both forgery and perjury in a March 23 criminal complaint.
Steveland Kidd, 30, of Alorton, plead guilty on March 7 to a class 3 felony charge of violation of absentee ballots. Prosecutors alleged Kidd, between March 6 and 14, 2013, unlawfully took absentee ballots that a voter had intended for deposit into the U.S Mail.
Kidd was sentenced to 30 months of probation and 30 hours of community service. He was also barred from campaign activities while on probation.
Brian McDouglar, 40, of Cahokia, is set to serve two years in jail after being found guilty of marking or tampering absentee ballots that he had taken from voters for deposit in the mail. McDouglar altered three ballots, with each incident representing a class 3 felony, over a period from March 1 through March 21, 2015. McDouglar was found guilty on March 20 and was sentenced to two years for each of the three counts; however, his sentences are to be served concurrently.
In addition to the three convictions, three more individuals were charged last month with election fraud.
Calvin C. Borders of unincorporated St. Clair County, Candice N. Borders of Madison, and Calvin Borders Jr. of Madison face perjury charges after inaccurately claiming residence at 407 Jefferson Street in Brooklyn, Ill., a voting application for the April 4 consolidated election.
The three were charged Sept. 7. Bond for each was set at $5,000.
State police reinstituted the public integrity unit last year at the request of St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, amid continuing allegation of vote fraud in Metro East. The task force was originally established a decade ago but dissolved in 2013 due to budget constraints.
Charges have been filed against about a dozen Metro East political figures during the task force’s initial years of operation.
Metro East now billed as ‘Ag Coast’ of U.S.
With a new study finding St. Louis and Metro East ports handle a disproportionately large percentage of commodities shipments on the Upper Mississippi River, a coalition of Illinois and Missouri business leaders has begun promoting a 15-mile section of the waterway as the “Ag Coast” of America.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) ranks the Port of Metropolitan St. Louis as the third largest inland port in the nation. Combined with the nearby Port of Kaskaskia, Ill., it approaches second place in the ranking.
The St. Louis port district — including riverfront terminals at Granite City and East St. Louis —serves commodities producers east and west of a 70 stretch of the Mississippi River.
An Army Corps study, released last month, found St. Louis area ports transferred some 35 million tons of commodities during 2015.
Waterloo school earns National Blue Ribbon
The U.S. Department of Education has named Rogers Elementary, in the Waterloo School District, a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School. The title is bestowed by the department each year to select schools for high academic performance or progress in closing the achievement gap among racial and socioeconomic minorities.
In total, 242 schools received the honor; including 25 Illinois schools.
More than 8,500 schools in the American states and territories, the Department of Defense Education Activity system and the Bureau of Indian Education system have received the honor in the past 35 years.
Military banner project spreads to O’Fallon
O’Fallon American Legion Post 137 is now accepting applications for its “O’Fallon Hometown Heroes Banner Project.”
The program honors past or present military members from the O’Fallon area with banners on light standards in the downtown business district. All service member, including retired and honorably discharged veterans, active duty service members, and memorials to service members, are eligible for the program.
Banners are $110 each, sized 18 inches by 36 inches, and will be hung along O’Fallon streets from Feb. 1, 2018, to Oct. 31, 2018. When the banners come down, there will be a recognition ceremony to return the banners to the service member or family members.
A similar program proved popular in Collinsville last year.
Banner applications for the O’Fallon banner program are due by Nov. 15.
More information can be found at www.hometownheroesil.com.
–Metro East Area News Briefs–