WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. (AP) - The mayor the village of Washington Park, Illinois says city leaders are talking about disbanding the police department.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports Thursday that Washington Park Mayor Ann Rodgers says the village's financial situation is bleak. She says a number of options are being considered but nothing has been finalized. The village's police chief, Aubrey Keller, has previously suggested the department be abolished.
Keller says the department has a staff shortage and is paying overtime costs.
St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly also agrees that abolishing the department is an option.
Washington Park has a $7 million deficit and Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has called for the state attorney general to investigate the village's finances.
A Washington Park trustee is among 15 people indicted for Medicaid fraud.
St. Clair County probation officer and Washington Park trustee Darron A. Suggs is among those named. If convicted, he and others charged can receive up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton says the indictments grew out of complaints concerning the Home Services Program.
The program is intended for people under 60 and designed to reduce Medicaid expenditures by cutting down on institutional care.
However, Wigginton says the state of Illinois paid for ghost employees and fictitious services that, with one exception, did not keep anyone out of an institutional setting.