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East St. Louis fires city manager that was hired in Sept.

By AP/KWMU

East St. Louis, MO – The East St. Louis city Council has fired its 11th city manager in 14 years. Charles Means was hired in September.

He says his firing is political and that he is being targeted because of his anti-corruption efforts. But city council members who voted for his ouster said he has to go because he hasn't been able to get the city's financial paperwork in order.

Means was also the fifth city manager in just the past 16 months. "A series of decisions I made or am making in terms of stopping corruption and moving the city forward in a positive way led to the council's decision," Means said.

"In the seven months that this man been here, he's set the city back five years by not taking care of city business," said Karen Cason, who had voted against Means' hiring last fall. He had been selected to replace former city manager Alvin Parks, who was fired last May.

Parks, a former council member, held the city manager job only briefly. He led the city from January through May during a series of federal indictments, including charges of perjury and obstruction of justice against a former police chief.

Robert Betts will replace Means. He used to serve as development manager for the East St. Louis Housing Authority. Means earned $84,397 plus $9,600 for expenses.

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