Education: East St. Louis: Indicted

Over the years, East St. Louis, a dingy and decaying industrial town on the banks of the Mississippi in southern Illinois, has had more than its share of corruption, racial strife and machine politics. In fact the city (pop. 70,000) has been the virtual fiefdom of a firmly entrenched Democratic machine.

In this atmosphere, becoming an official in the East St. Louis school district, the largest employer in town, represents an opportunity to exploit rather than serve. Candidates are known to spend as much as $10,000 campaigning for an unsalaried seat on the seven-member school board—and a chance to control both patronage...

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