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State probe of East St. Louis schools finished

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

A former top federal prosecutor has completed his state-launched probe of the cash-strapped East St. Louis public school system and has turned over his findings to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

A. Courtney Cox had served as U.S. attorney for southern Illinois before being chosen last summer to review the 7,500-student district's spending, contracts and employee qualifications.

The school system has been beset by questions about millions of dollars in spending on consultants and conventions.

The district has been under the Illinois State Board of Education's control. A spokesman for the board, Matt Vanover, tells the Belleville News-Democrat for a story Tuesday that Cox has finished his investigation.

Vanover, Cox and Cox's successor as the region's top federal prosecutor aren't commenting publicly about the matter.

Additionally, the News-Democrat says: 

"The state board last week set in motion a process that would likely mean the removal of the local board. The local school board would be removed 60 days after they receive notice from the state. That notice will likely be going out shortly, Vanover said."

 Anewsletter from the Illinois State Superintendent Christopher A. Koch says that the notice will be going out "soon."