EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A Madison County Board members says it's "disgusting" that the county's ex-treasurer still collects a pension after pleading guilty to a crime.
Fred Bathon pleaded guilty eight months ago to rigging 2005-2008 tax lien auctions so his political donors could profit from inflated penalties paid by property owners.
The Belleville News-Democrat reported Sunday that the 58 year old has received more than $340,000 in pension benefits since his 2009 retirement. He was treasurer for 11 years.
Kathy O'Brien is general counsel with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. O'Brien says that according to state law a pension is terminated at sentencing, not conviction.
Court records show Bathon's sentencing is Dec. 6.
Republican Madison County Board member Jamie Goggin says continuing to collect a pension is abusing the public.
Bathon's attorney declined comment.
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The beating death of Cahokia man whose body was found in an Illinois state park has been ruled a homicide due to blunt force trauma.
The Telegraph in Alton reports that a Madison County coroner's inquest made the ruling Wednesday. The victim was 20 year old Dakota Jones. Three fishermen found his body in Aug. 11 in the water near a boat launch ramp at Horseshoe Lake State Park.
Coroner Steve Nonn testified to the coroner's jury that Jones had evidence of severe head injury and his body "appeared to have been thrown."
A man paroled after prison time for killing an elderly woman in 1989 is accused in the death. Forty-one year old Scott Thompson of Centreville is charged with first-degree murder.
A metro-east man is facing felony charges for allegedly shoplifting a single bottle of liquor.
Madison County prosecutors have charged 23 year old Jason Whitney of Alton with felony theft. Police say a worker at a Godfrey supermarket caught Whitney red-handed early Saturday morning.
Sheriff's Captain Mike Dixon told the Belleville News-Democrat that the alleged theft qualifies as a felony because of Whitney's burglary conviction earlier this year.
Drivers in Madison County should allow extra time for their travels Saturday if they use Interstate 270.
Starting at 5:30 AM, all westbound lanes of I-270 will be closed between Interstate 55/70 and Illinois Rte. 157. Crews will be replacing a damaged beam in the Meridian Road Bridge.
A detour is marked directing drivers to use I-55/70 west to I-255 north.
Transportation officials say the interstate should reopen by 9 PM Saturday.
BETHALTO, Ill. (AP) - A metro-east village is paying tribute to a hometown Marine who died in 2010 of complications from injuries sustained in Afghanistan.
The Alton Telegraph reports that seven signs honoring Lance Cpl. Kenneth Corzine have been erected at each road entrance to Bethalto.
Corzine was 23 when he died on Christmas Eve of 2010, 19 days after being injured by a roadside bomb that exploded, costing him both legs.
Corzine grew up in Bethalto and was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Bethalto is in Madison County, northeast of St. Louis.
An 82 year old Alton woman who's been missing since Monday morning has been found alive.
Madison County authorities say horseback riders found Shirley Plunk Wednesday evening. She and her minivan were stuck in the mud at the end of a dirt road in Mitchell, Illinois.
Plunk told police the van got stuck Monday afternoon. She got out, slipped in the mud and became stuck herself.
Plunk was taken to a local hospital for evaluation and reunited with her family.
Alton, Illinois police are reminding residents, do not bring concealed weapons to this weekend's Block Party.
Despite the Madison County State's Attorney issuing new guidelines on conceal carry this week, the police will arrest anyone found with a concealed weapon. State's Attorney Tom Gibbons agreed with this weekend's prohibition. New rules from Gibbons stated that people in Madison County can have a loaded gun in their car or person if they have a firearm owner's ID card.
But, that is not the case for this weekend's event.
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Concealed carry legislation is pending before the Illinois governor but the state's attorney in Madison County says citizens can start carrying weapons immediately.
Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons said Thursday that "it serves no just purpose" to deny citizens the ability to carry weapons. The Illinois Legislature passed concealed-carry legislation during its recent session under order by a federal appeals court, which ruled the state's ban unconstitutional. That legislation is awaiting action by Gov. Pat Quinn, who hasn't said if he will sign it or not.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Gibbons says people can carry a concealed weapon in his county as long as they meet seven requirements. Those requirements include possessing a valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card. Citizens also must be carrying the weapon for self-defense.
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The former chief circuit judge in Madison County, Illinois says she's running for Congress.
Forty-eight year old Democrat Ann Callis announced her candidacy Tuesday for the state's 13th Congressional District seat now held by Rodney Davis. Davis is a Taylorville Republican who was narrowly elected to the House last November.
Callis has been a judge since 1995 and resigned last Friday from her 7 year role as the county's chief circuit judge.
The congressional district stretches across parts of central and southwestern Illinois.
A Davis campaign spokesman says that in the partisan-divided district, "it's no surprise that the Washington Democrats have been attempting to recruit candidates from the moment Congressman Davis was elected last fall." Andrew Flach adds that Davis looks forward to debating the issues against any eventual opponent.
Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons says the deputy's actions involving 51-year-old Barry Cloninger outside the man's rural Edwardsville home in January were reasonable.
Gibbons says neighbors had called authorities to report the odor of lighter fluid in their home and snowy footprints on their roof, which is easily accessible because the home is built into a hillside. The residents have a wood-burning stove and suspected someone poured the flammable liquid down their chimney.
Gibbons says deputies went to question Cloninger, who refused demands that he drop the shotgun he carried. After being shot by the deputy, Cloninger's body was found behind the home.