STLtoday.com - December 9, 2011
EAST ST. LOUIS • Former Washington Park police Det. Kim L. McAfee was ordered Friday to spend 26 months in federal prison and pay more than $73,000 in restitution and court assessments for crimes committed in his private security business and in his official capacity. In addition, his plea agreement bars McAfee, 48, of East St. Louis, from ever working as a police officer again. McAfee also has been the subject of an investigation since a witness in a St. Clair County murder case alleged that he bribed her to lie about seeing him at the scene of the killing of Washington Park's mayor. As owner of KLM Loss Prevention Inc., McAfee paid employees less than he claimed under federally subsidized contracts with East St. Louis School District 189 and the East St. Louis Housing Authority, then pocketed the difference, officials said. He also was accused of under-paying overtime and failing to pay back wages, and telling lies on forms and to investigators. On Sept. 13, U.S. District Judge William D. Stiehl accepted McAfee's guilty plea to 16 counts of making false statements, 15 of mail fraud, three each of wire fraud and falsifying records and one count of lying to FBI agents investigating a possible civil rights violation. In Friday's sentencing hearing in court in East St. Louis, Stiehl ordered McAfee to pay $69,274.36 in restitution — $66,928.17 of it to employees — and $3,800 in assessments. The civil rights case involves an incident in which McAfee shot into a vehicle stopped at a BP service station in Washington Park, held the two men who were inside, then released them without charges about 24 hours later. McAfee told the FBI he thought he had seen a drug transaction, ordered the car's driver to stop and fired out of concern for nearby pedestrians if the car kept going. The two men, not seriously hurt, denied drug activity, officials said, and no evidence of it was found. McAfee's sentence includes paying $2,346.19 as compensation for a chipped tooth suffered by one of the men, damage to the car and towing and impound fees. "He operated as a crook with a badge," U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton said in a prepared statement. "He violated his oath to uphold the very laws that he flaunted. He cheated low income employees in an economically disadvantaged area. He lied to the FBI agents who were investigating a very troubling shooting incident. "His prosecution should put other police officers, public officials, and business leaders on notice that we will aggressively investigate and charge cases of fraud and corruption." Aaron "Chill" Jackson was on trial in October in the 2010 murder of Washington Park Mayor John Thornton when a key eyewitness, LaQueshia Jackson, told prosecutors outside court that McAfee bribed her to testify that he was not present when Thornton was shot. Officials pledged to investigate. Judge Milton Wharton sent the jury home and ordered a retrial for Jackson, no relation to the witness, in February.