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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

MadCo Board member blasts ex-treasurer taking pension

Monday, 28 October 2013 01:58 Published in Local News

   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.

Man dead after falling from high rise

Monday, 28 October 2013 01:11 Published in Local News

   St. Louis police say they don't suspect foul play in the death of a man who apparently fell from the top floor of west end high rise Saturday morning.  

   Police say a jogger found the man lying in front of The Dorchester apartment building in the 600 block of South Skinker about 9:00 a.m.  

   The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.  Investigators say his injuries were consistent with a long fall.

   The man's name has not yet been released.

   Parents in the Normandy School District plan to hold a town hall meeting Monday to discuss the financial and academic problems in the struggling district.  

   Last week the school board voted to cut more than 100 jobs, including 70 teachers and close Bel Nor Elementary School in an effort to keep from going bankrupt over of the costs of the state-mandated transfer program. The unaccredited district must pay for more than 1,000 students to attend schools in other districts.  

   But the School board voted last week not to pay the tuition and transportation bills associated with those transfers. 

   The Normandy Schools Town Hall Organization will host a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Natural Bridge Branch of the St. Louis County Library.

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