WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. – The You Paid For It Team investigates a questionable hire by the Mayor Rickey Thomas of Washington Park, Illinois. Thomas hired his own sister to the job of village clerk.
In a clear case of nepotism, the mayor's sister will be paid $975 a month for the job. Washington Park, which has had a lot of financial woes, already had a deputy clerk caring for the village’s financial books. But Mayor Thomas decided to fill the vacant job of clerk, too; with his sister.
Fox 2/KPLR 11 reporter Elliott Davis asked the mayor why wasn't the job advertised so that others in Washington Park could apply. Thomas said the law didn't require him to do that. Many residents were none-too-happy about the arrangement.
One former trustee said the two names on the village checks are the mayor's and the clerk's – who are brother and sister. To him that sounded like a conflict of interest. But the mayor said that’s not the case.
Meanwhile, Illinois statutes allow local governments to decide issues of nepotism. At present, the Washington Park Board of Trustees is siding with Mayor Thomas.