(KMOV.com) – It was a surprise when Alorton Mayor Joann Reed was elected despite being charged with a crime.
Now, after less than a month in office, she is accused of using city funds to pay for personal expenses.
Reed has been charged with four crimes, including official misconduct, for allegedly smuggling a cell phone to her niece in the St. Clair County jail.
The first time News 4 went to the mayor’s office at City Hall, a police officer met reporters at the door and wouldn’t let them into the building.
Reed was nowhere to be found Thursday and did not return repeated requests for clarification on the dinner she had at a Denny’s in Alorton last Monday.
Village Hall employees say Reed was out to dinner with prospective new volunteer firefighters. After the meal, she reportedly told Denny’s workers to charge it to City Hall’s jail food account.
Denny’s provides some of the meals that police serve when someone’s locked in the jail. But Reed didn’t take a group of prisoners out to eat and the food didn’t go to the jail.
A village trustee said it was all a misunderstanding, but no one came forward to prove the mayor wasn’t misusing tax dollars to pay for a personal meal.
If it’s found that Reed illegally misappropriated city funds, her bond on the four charges could be revoked and she could end up in jail.