Metro-East official admits to stealing thousands from park district


by Lauren Trager and staff

Posted on April 5, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 6 at 10:29 AM

( -- On Friday, Terrell McKire admitted in court he stole from the parks system while he was serving as a parks commissioner for the Brooklyn-Stites Township Park District.
But he's not heading to prison.
According to these court documents, McKire was stealing from the park district for a period of at least six months back in 2011.
The Brooklyn recreation park is a perfect place to play; quiet, clean, with bright playground equipment and space to run.
But the park is also the home of several programs meant to help this area.
“Rather than some of the violent crime you see occurring, these program keep kids involved in positive things and that money was supposed to be used for those good things, instead, it was used for this person's own personal benefit,” said St. Clair State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly.
That person was McKire, an elected parks commissioner who served for four years.
But Kelly said sometime back in 2011, other city officials noticed something odd. As it turned out, instead of helping kids, McKire was helping himself: using the parks credit card to get goods and cash.
McKire pleaded guilty Friday in St. Clair County court.
But he won't get time behind bars. Kelly says because McKire had no prior record, probation was appropriate.
“Now he's a felon for the rest of his life, he's been branded a felon," said Kelly. "He cannot hold a municipal office and he cannot get a pension if there's pension, and if he violates his probation, he could go to prison for two to five years.”
McKire will also have to pay back $2,000. Kelly said St. Clair County will pour the money back into the peaceful park.