Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Longer prison sentence sought for East St. Louis vote fraud figure

Thanks to Cal Skinner for the tip!

In an update from yet another underreported story, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Carr is seeking a prison stay beyond the usual sentencing guidelines for Kevin Ellis, East St. Louis' former director of regulatory affairs.

From George Pawlaczyk of the Belleville News-Democrat, an excerpt:

A federal prosecutor has asked for a longer sentence for Kelvin Ellis, the city's former director of regulatory affairs, because Ellis allegedly ran a "massive," illicit political operation from City Hall.
During a monthlong trial in June in federal court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Carr won vote fraud convictions against five East St. Louis politicians, including Ellis.

On Friday, Carr filed a motion asking U.S. District Court Judge G. Patrick Murphy to consider sentencing Ellis on the vote fraud conviction from 51 to 63 months in prison instead of the range of 41 to 51 months called for in sentencing guidelines.

Carr alleged that Ellis "assisted in perpetuating what the evidence has shown to be a massive, unchecked system of vote-buying, which has gone on for decades in East St. Louis to the point where the pervasiveness of fraud has eroded the publics' confidence in elections."

Ellis' attorney, John O'Gara of Belleville, said Monday, "We will certainly respond to (the motion) by filing an objection at the appropriate time." Ellis, who is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 3, is being held in federal custody and could not be reached for comment.

During the trial, witnesses testified that Ellis, a Democrat, enlisted the help of workers in his own office to be part of what he called his political "A team."

The Belleville News-Democrat, as I've noted before, has done a superb job reporting on the East St. Louis vote fraud story. AP has ran a few articles, but for the most part, the mainstream media has ignored this violation of one of America's sacred rights: the right to free and fair elections.

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