Five convicted of East St. Louis vote fraud in ’05 worked for campaigns in ‘16

By Record News | Feb 1, 2017

EAST ST. LOUIS – Five persons who bought votes in 2004 received $12,350 as campaign workers in 2016.  

The St. Clair County central Democratic committee paid $2,000 to Charles Powell Jr., who led local meetings about buying votes in 2004.  

Legislative candidate Bob Romanik, who ran on the Republican ticket in the state House 114th District, paid $5,000 to Kelvin Ellis, including $1,500 on the Friday before the election.  

Romanik’s report for the state election board left a blank for Ellis’s address, though St. Clair County voting records shows him registered at a Belleville address.  


Romanik paid $900 each to Sheila Thomas and Yvette Johnson, including $300 each on the Friday before the election.  

Jesse Lewis worked for Romanik and the committee.  

Romanik’s New Vision Democrats group paid Lewis $1,050 and the committee paid him $2,500, including $1,200 on the Wednesday before the election.  

A jury in U.S. district court convicted Powell, Ellis, Thomas, Lewis and Johnson in 2005. They were indicted on charges of taking part in a conspiracy to pay voters for their votes in the November 2004 general election.  

All of them, except Johnson, served prison time. Johnson got probation.  

While in prison, Powell pleaded guilty to charges that his demolition company violated the Clean Air Act by scattering asbestos around the Spivey Building – a vacant and historic 12-story building on Missouri Avenue.  

Powell completed his sentences in 2008, in time to vote that November.

Last year, in addition to the five, the central committee and Romanik each employed dozens of other East St. Louis residents.  

In all, the central committee paid $102,250 to 41 workers.  

The committee paid $5,300 to Nathaniel McCloud, $4,750 to Charles Powell III, and $4,600 each to Raymond Bonds, Victoria Clay, Lonzo Greenwood, Lonnie Mosley, Troy Mosley, former mayor Alvin Parks, and Kennis Williams.  

The committee paid $4,300 each to Frank Smith and Anthony Tarvin, $4,100 to Kim McAfee, and $4,000 to Kenneth “Bug” Watts.  

The committee paid $3,900 to Roy Mosley, and $3,800 to Sherwin Haywood.  

Romanik paid his East St. Louis crew $94,590, through his New Vision Democrats group early in the year and later through his campaign.  

His campaign paid $8,200 to Oliver Hamilton, who pleaded guilty in December to charges that he spent East St. Louis township funds on himself.

Hamilton faces sentencing in U.S. district court in March.  

Romanik paid $4,800 to Terrance Stith, $4,600 to Edith Moore, and $4,500 each to Carl Spraggins and Chaya Fleming.  

He paid $4,000 each to Leroy Henderson and Harry Hollingsworth.  

On the Friday before the election, Romanik paid a total of $5,200 to 12 persons whose addresses he listed as East St. Louis, with no street address.  

Some workers, like Lewis, received funds from Romanik and the central committee:  

-Romanik paid Terrance Harlen $4,600, and the committee paid him $1,300.  

-Romanik paid Tyrone Bills $3,200, and the committee paid him $2,300.  

-Romanik paid Samuel Swanson $2,800, and the committee paid him $2,300.  

-Romanik paid R. C. Clark $3,000, and the committee paid him $2,000.  

The committee paid Timothy Lockett $2,200, and Romanik paid him $1,380.      

In his quest for a seat in the state House, Romanik was defeated by Democrat Latoya Greenwood by a margin of 57.2 to 42.8 percent.          

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Organizations in this Story

City of East St. Louis East St. Louis Election Authority

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