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El-Amin finally resigns -- effective Thursday

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 30, 2009 - T.D. El-Amin finally turned in today his resignation to the Missouri House -- almost a week after he had said he had done so.

But according to his resignation letter, his departure from the 57th District post isn't effective until Thursday. That is exactly a week after El-Amin pleaded guilty in federal court to accepting a bribe.

His letter of resignation was hand-delivered today to the offices of Gov. Jay Nixon and state House Speaker Ron Richard.

A spokesman for Nixon said despite the Thursday date on the letter, the governor views El-Amin's resign as "effective immediately."

Now, Nixon can set a special election date to pick a replacement. And he swiftly did so: It's Feb. 2.

Said Nixon is a statement:

“Today, my office received a letter of resignationfrom State. Rep. T.D. El-Amin. There is simply no place in public service for those who are involved in bribery. I have notified the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office of a Feb. 2 special election to fill this vacancy.”

So far, the highest-profile contender to replace El-Amin is 26th Ward committeeman Joseph Palm. According to calculations by the Arch City Chronicle, the 26th Ward has the second- largest bloc of votes that will be used by Democratic committeepeople to select a nominee. (Votes are weigned, depending on the number of votes cast in the ward last year for governor.)

Mayor Francis Slay also has weighed in -- to say that he's not.

Spokesmen say that the mayor won't get deeply involved in the 57th District jockeying, unlike the role he played in the earlier party maneuvering to select a nominee for the now-vacant 4th District state Senate seat. Slay's choice, 28th Ward committeeman Joe Keaveny, is now the Democratic nominee in the Nov. 3 special election.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.