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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ex-Official Pleads Guilty Amid "Systemic Corruption"

Ex-Alorton official pleads guilty to federal charges 
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch - March 24, 2012

EAST ST. LOUIS, IL - Ex-Alorton official pleads guilty to federal charges — The former Alorton street superintendent, Ronnie D. Cummings, 39, pleaded guilty to federal charges Friday and admitted lying to the FBI and unlawfully possessing ammunition. Cummings admitted that he possessed a nearly full ammunition clip for a 9 mm handgun on Jan. 4 despite having a 2001 drug conviction in St. Clair County. He also admitted lying about it when interviewed by an FBI agent the next day. Cummings' plea Friday was open, meaning that there was no agreement or deal prior to the plea. He faces up to 10 years in prison when sentenced June 25. Cummings was nabbed by a police officer working secretly for the FBI in a wider investigation of 'systemic corruption" in the small Metro East village, officials said earlier this year. Former Mayor Randy McCallum Sr. and former Police Chief Michael Baxton have also entered guilty pleas this year. McCallum pleaded guilty to federal charges that include theft and attempting to distribute cocaine. Baxton, who briefly led the East St. Louis police after he left Alorton, admitted stealing four video game consoles while he was Alorton police chief and lying about it.

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