Let the sunshine in: Man who filed lawsuit to remove ESL mayor calls ruling ‘a victory’

A St. Clair County judge dismissed part of a lawsuit seeking to remove East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks from office but could fine the city for allegedly violating state Sunshine laws.

The legal fight began in May 2013 when Matt Hawkins, president of watchdog group Civic Alliance of East St. Louis, filed a lawsuit against city leaders alleging violations of the state’s Freedom of Information Act and a state law dictating the administration of tax increment financing districts.

Earlier this week, St. Clair County Associate Judge Chris Kolker dismissed Hawkin’s attempt to remove Parks from office, and in a ruling found the city may be penalized for allegedly not following the state’s FOIA. Hawkins said the FOIA-related ruling was a “great victory” and he was pleased the court upheld the law. Continue>>>