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ESL rehires convicted vote-buyers


East St. Louis, Ill. – Two people recently convicted in a vote-buying scheme in East St. Louis have been rehired by the city.

Sheila Thomas and Jesse Lewis were back at their jobs in the department of regulatory affairs yesterday. Thomas is a clerk and Lewis a housing inspector.

Both were fired after their June convictions and they're due to be sentenced in October.

A federal jury convicted Thomas, Lewis and three others of felony conspiracy to commit vote fraud in last November's election. Thomas, Lewis and two others were also convicted of election fraud.

All five of those convicted are seeking new trials.

The rehiring of Thomas and Lewis prompted Councilman Eddie Jackson to call for a clearer hiring policy regarding convicted felons. Local police prohibit the hiring of felons, but some officials say any city-wide policy should be less severe.