If East St. Louis politician LaToya Greenwood were a pig and her source of income was the Illinois public trough, then she’d be a morbidly obese hog or, more correctly, sow.
And the symbolism is apropos, given her shameless and gluttonous consumption of political jobs and salaries, with no sense of guilt or propriety.
Here is a politician, following the April 4 elections, who holds the positions of Illinois state representative for District 114 at $67,836 per-year, ESL City Councilwoman at $15,000 per-year and ESL School District 189 director of Human Resources at $93,400 per-year.
How is that possible, you may ask? Well you can thank the apathetic and lethargic voters of East Boogie who only had a 28 percent turnout in the April 4 elections, with a whopping 72 percent choosing to sit on their backsides and allowing it to happen.
This anemic voter participation allows Greenwood and other “political serpents” of her ilk to exploit the moment and seize multiple political positions and salaries with little thought to the ethics or feasibility of doing any of these jobs well.
For nearly 40 years, my father worked grueling, long, 16-hour days in two blue-collar jobs, out of the need to feed, clothe and shelter his wife and four children. The LaToya Greenwood’s of East St. Louis and Illinois “poli-tricks” hold multiple political jobs, not out of need but, rather, out of greed; collecting multiple salaries, pensions, benefits and perks irrespective of their ability to perform or even be present for their concurrent responsibilities.
Greenwood has admitted that wearing multiple hats will force her to be absent for over 50 percent of the time from her school district gig. She will also miss some City Council meetings (she’s missed six since January). Her solution: pay deductions for meetings missed and days absent from the school district. That’s only because the Illinois Constitution prohibits state senators and representatives from receiving pay from any public position at the same time that they are “in attendance as a member of the General Assembly.”
Then there’s the potential of conflicts of interest in which her votes in the General Assembly may be advantageous to ESL School District 189, while punitive to the residents of East. St. Louis or vice versa.
So why not have three different individuals, in these positions, who can dedicate their full attention to doing an exemplary job for the citizens of ESL? Well, that’s not the concern of “Greedy” LaToya Greenwood. She’s got money to make and vacations to take!
Forget how unethical it is. Who’s going to hold her accountable? What about the Illinois Legislative Ethics Commission? No luck there; especially with the likes of State Senator James Clayborne, Jr. as a member. Between hooking up his female friends with political jobs and his international travel and limo rides, courtesy of campaign donors, he’s as blind as Stevie Wonder when it comes to ethics.
This is why elections matter and why ESL voters have to shoulder the blame for, once again, sending yet another political pig to the public trough for fattening.
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