Audit into East St. Louis finances prompts criminal investigatio - KMOV.com

Audit into East St. Louis finances prompts criminal investigation

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A state audit revealed financial problems in East St. Louis, prompting three state agencies to conduct investigations. A state audit revealed financial problems in East St. Louis, prompting three state agencies to conduct investigations.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

A state audit revealed financial problems in East St. Louis, which prompted the St. Clair County state's attorney to investigate possible criminal wrongdoing in the city.

Attorney Brendan Kelly said he is examining the financial report for criminal wrongdoing after city officials brought the troubling findings to his office.

The review of the city's financial state reportedly found several problems, including 10 months of missing tow reports and the collection of a 1 percent city tax on food and beverages.

"We're reviewing the cases charged between the dates of January 2014 to October 2014 to see if the lack of towing records causes any concerns about those criminal cases,” said Kelly. "At this point, we don't know if there's anything criminal related to these concerns or if this is just bad book keeping."

The Department of Revenue and Illinois Liquor Control Commission are also investigating. It is currently unknown how many cases could be affected. 

Kelly said the present situation in East St. Louis exemplifies why he supports legislation that would place financially distressed cities on a state-wide watch list. The legislation is currently making its way through the Senate.

The audit is expected to be discussed at an upcoming city council meeting.

Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks released the following statement Monday night: 

"My administration is committed to addressing the operational and fiscal deficiencies that exist. We fully support and will comply thoroughly with the investigations in hopes of restoring the trust and confidence of our residents and stakeholders.   Tomorrow, August 11, I will announce the dates of future Town Hall meetings. At those meetings I will present my administration's 2015 transition plan and will discuss the issues affecting the City of East St. Louis."

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