More ESL Fraud News

More ESL Fraud News:

The federal grand jury is meeting two weeks after the Belleville News-Democrat began publishing a series of stories raising questions about the circumstances of the close race for St. Clair County Board chairman between Democrat Mark Kern, the Belleville mayor, and Republican Steve Reeb, a County Board member from Swansea.

Excluding East St. Louis, Reeb had captured 52 percent of St. Clair County votes, vs. Kern’s 47.8 percent, in the November 2 election.

Kern ultimately prevailed because he won 82.7 percent of East St. Louis voters who showed a preference — 10,153 votes — versus the 17.3 percent for Reeb, who received 2,120 votes.

Kern and his campaign committee gave, loaned and made in-kind contributions totaling $177,370 to the Democratic Central Committee between Oct. 17 and Nov. 1, according to disclosure reports filed with the St. Clair County clerk.

On Oct. 31, the county Democratic committee handed out checks totaling at least $80,000 to get out the vote during a meeting of Democratic precinct committeemen at the East St. Louis Veterans of Foreign Wars post, according to several political sources.

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