Metro-East town seeks bankruptcy protection -

Metro-East town seeks bankruptcy protection

WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. (AP) -- The southwestern Illinois village of Washington Park is seeking bankruptcy protection for the second time this decade.

The St. Clair County community of roughly 5,500 people filed for Chapter 9 protection last month in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in East St. Louis, citing assets of less than $50,000 and debt of more than $1 million.

Chapter 9 allows governmental units to restructure.

The village has been stung in recent years by wrongdoing. A former payroll clerk and an aide to the mayor have admitted in federal court that they embezzled a combined $440,000 from the village.

Washington Park also filed for bankruptcy five years ago, but that was later dismissed.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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