James T. Ingram

I don’t watch reality TV or any of the fake, over-the-top televised dramas that have many of my peers seemingly addicted.

No “Empire” or “Power” or “The Haves and the Have Nots” for me. As long as Mayor Jo Ann Reed sits on the throne of Alorton, Illinois village government, I suspect that I will have all of the drama that I can handle, thank you.

And, as of late, Mayor Reed has not failed to keep me thoroughly entertained, if not perplexed by her consistently bizarre and allegedly criminal behavior.

Just recently, Mayor Reed was reportedly seen weaving in and out of Interstate 64 traffic near the Illinois 157 exit on a Saturday afternoon, driving a black police car with blue and red lights flashing. Fortunately, an alert driver called Illinois State Police, describing a suspected female driver who may have been impersonating a police officer.

It wasn’t hard to identify Reed who, to add insult to injury, had the audacity to have a “Mayor Jo Ann Reed” magnetic sign displayed on her driver’s side door. Clearly there’s no shame in her game.

A subsequent investigation by the State Police Public Corruption Task Force resulted in Reed’s being arrested and charged with two felony counts of official misconduct for allegedly impersonating a police officer and driving a village police car. Her bail was set at $75,000, for which she posted bond and was released.

Reed is no stranger to brushes with the law. Back in 2014, she pleaded guilty to a felony for smuggling a cell phone into her niece’s jail cell, for which she received a slap on the wrist: probation, community service and drug rehab.

Then, unrepentant as ever, she was charged in 2016 with felony vote buying and in 2017 with the illegal demotion of a village cop who assisted Illinois State Police in bringing the 2014 contraband charges against her.

This arrest and her prosecutorial history would have been enough to deter the average hardened criminal from reoffending, but not Reed, who puts the “R” in reprehensible.

Reed already faces trial in St. Clair County court on November 13 (one week after the November 6 elections) for the felony charges of vote buying and illegal demotion of a police sergeant.

Let’s see if Reed receives another slap on the wrist for getting out the vote on November 6 for the Democratic political machine of St. Clair County.

Having covered St. Clair County “poli-tricks” over the years, there seems to be an amazing correlation between those who get out the vote and receiving amazing leniency when it comes to criminal sentencing.

So, sadly, we may not have seen the last of Reed or her antics. And with her history of good breaks, why should she change?

Email: jtingram_1960@yahoo.com; Twitter@JamesTIngram.

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