Steve Korris Jun. 13, 2013, 2:18pm

Mayor Leonard Black fired a mysterious man who made about $55,000 a year inspecting 400 rooms in five hotels at the I-64 interchange.

Black announced the release of John Aiple at a public meeting of trustees on June 12.

“We were paying a very high price for a hotel motel inspector,” Black said.

“We are going to cut that cost in half,” he said. “We were paying him about 55 thousand plus retirement."

Citizens in the meeting gasped and cried, “What?”

“Nobody knows him?” one asked.

“How long has he been doing this?” asked another.

Black said, “Who knows?”

He said Aiple was an outside contractor listed as an employee.

In an interview prior to the meeting, Black said he would know more in a week.

He said that in four years as village clerk, he didn’t know about Aiple’s job.

“I don’t know if anybody else knew it either,” he said.

“When I told people about it they were stunned,” he said. “There is nobody that knows what he did."

“You would think you would have a boss if you made that much money. You couldn’t ask for a better job than that, come and go as you please."

Black sent a letter to Aiple at a Collinsville address on May 23, telling him the village would not need his services after June 7.

On Aiple’s last day, he submitted a sheet charging $850 for a two week pay period.

He listed 14 inspections but showed no date for any of them.

When Black saw that Aiple listed three pool inspections, he said, “We can’t do that.”

Aiple’s final entry on the payroll register shows deductions for federal and state income tax, social security, Medicare, and Illinois municipal retirement.

“We don’t pay contractors retirement," Black said. “I don’t know who decided to give him retirement.”

When he showed the entry to trustee Brenda Williams, she said, “Golly gee whillikers.”

Caseyville voters elected Black in April, replacing George Chance after he had held the office for 27 years.

At the June 12 meeting, Black also announced that Mike Mitchell would replace Paul McNamara as zoning administrator.

He said the village would pay Mitchell $25 an hour for four hours on Tuesdays and four hours on Thursdays.

He said the village would save $50,000 to $60,000.

He told his audience of about 25 citizens that he promised to make changes.

“You can tell by what I’m telling you that there’s a lot of changes coming and a lot of money being saved," Black said.

He also announced a tentative agreement to hire Collinsville police officer Todd Link as chief of police.

Former chief J. D. Roth departed in disgrace, facing criminal charges that he misused his office.

Roth committed suicide on June 13.

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