St. Louis Public Radio News
1:31 pm
Thu May 22, 2003

East St. Louis Mayor Calls For Extortion Investigation

East St. Louis, Ill. – The Mayor of East St. Louis is asking for an investigation of possible extortion by some city officials.

Carl Officer said he requested the probe after more than five people came to his office to complain that city officials were forcing bribes and sex from people in return for city grant money.

"We will not stand for people being held hostage while other persons whose aims may be to fatten their own wallets at the expense of more city development," Officer said."

Officer said the allegations center on departments that hand out grants for community development as well as creating tax increment financing (TIF) districts to encourage development.

The mayor says he isn't naming any specific official, but says the county, state or federal government needs to investigate.