Former Cahokia Mayor Frank Bergman

Former Cahokia Mayor Frank Bergman

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Our Buddy Frank

Belleville, IL

#1 Jul 5, 2011
http://www.bnd.com/2011/07/05/1774635/cahokia...

St. Clair County's new human resources director didn't leave his old job empty-handed, according to the new Cahokia village administration.
Former Cahokia Mayor Frank Bergman, who was hired at the county last month, kept a village-owned computer, a police radio and two hunter-style cameras when his term ended in the beginning of May, according to new Mayor Gary Cornwell and village correspondence.
Bergman had returned all of the aforementioned items except the computer by Wednesday, Police Chief James Jones and Cornwell said. Bergman's lawyer, St. Clair County Democratic Party Chairman Robert Sprague, sent a letter dated June 22 to the village's lawyer, Carmen Durso, stating the laptop computer could be picked up at his Belleville office this past week. Durso had not done so by Friday morning.
When asked Tuesday night about the missing computer, Bergman at first said he did not know what a reporter was talking about, before saying it was an old, used computer that came via the Police Department.
"I never used it," he said. "That was returned. There is nothing in (his) house that belongs to the village of Cahokia."
Cahokia had attempted to get the computer and the other items last month when it wrote a letter to Bergman. The letter cites a state law that requires former municipal officers to return all municipal-owned belongings that they have in their possession to their successors within five days of receiving written notification.
Cornwell said the letter was returned twice in the mail, so the village had it hand-delivered to Bergman on June 15.
"We chased him around for that letter," Cornwell said.
Sprague's written response states the only items Bergman's still had were an Illinois Municipal League Handbook and the laptop computer.
Sprague could not be reached for comment.
Jones said his department would forward a report on the missing computer to the St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office if it was not returned soon.
Police also took a report on May 4, Cornwell's first day on the job, after he found the mayor's office in disarray. A bookshelf was lying on its side and a computer appeared to be missing.
"It was like a tornado had come through the door and out the window," Cornwell said.
He said there was a shredding machine and shredded paper everywhere and the room was disheveled but not damaged. The police report does not mention the shredder or the shredded paper and states no one witnessed anyone take anything from the office the previous day.
Cornwell did not know how much the missing computer cost or the exact type of computer it was.
Bergman said he didn't get an opportunity to finish cleaning the office. He provided multiple answers for why he kept the computer and the other items. At first saying he left everything in the office, later saying he didn't have any help to bring back the items and later yet saying he didn't have a vehicle, presumably, in which to return the items.
Bergman had been driving a village-provided $38,000 sport utility vehicle until he wrecked it in an accident in October in St. Charles, Mo. The village has gotten back control of the 2008 GMC Acadia, which was in storage, after arguing with a different lawyer representing Bergman, Patrick Foley, who claimed the village was prohibited from repairing the vehicle because it was evidence in a products liability case related to the accident.
Foley did not return a call for comment.
The village has yet to repair the SUV, for which it is paying $839 per month on a lease purchase agreement with GMAC, Cornwell said. He gave no timeline for when the vehicle would be repaired to make it driveable again.
Our Buddy Frank

Belleville, IL

#2 Jul 5, 2011
Former mayor received vacation pay
Bergman's departure from the village was marked by controversy when on May 3, in his final meeting in office, he voted to pay himself $13,000 in vacation pay, despite a section of the Illinois constitution that states an elected official's salary should not be increased or decreased while in office. He has defended the payout, citing a legal opinion that he claimed allows cities to follow past practice in such cases.
He left office after two terms and saw the candidate he had backed, Jeff Radford Sr., finish a distance second to Cornwell in the April election.
Bergman was appointed to the county post May 31 at a salary of $69,000. He replaced longtime county employee Betty Martz, who retired at the age of 80.
The move was criticized by a bipartisan minority on the County Board who questioned the hiring process, Bergman's qualifications, his past and whether politics played a defining role in the decision.
As for the last of those concerns, critics wondered whether County Board Chairman Mark Kern was doing a political favor for Sprague, who had been the village's attorney during Bergman's mayoral tenure. Kern denied the charge. He pointed to Bergman's experience and master's degree in public administration, while admitting he did not advertise the position.
wondering

Edwardsville, IL

#3 Jul 5, 2011
At the bottom ofall this, in the middle of all this, and the end of all this is the unelected Czar of St. Corrupt County-Bob "Buy Me" Sprague! Good jog, Gary, keep after the Falling Frank Felony Friends.
wondering

Edwardsville, IL

#4 Jul 5, 2011
come on, citizens, when is enough enough? The former police chief participated and covered up and was an accessory to Frank's felonies. The citizens demand that Frank Bergman and Bob Sprague be charged with felonies, Mr. Brennan! Or are you on Bob Sprague's payroll, too?????
Our Buddy Frank

Belleville, IL

#5 Jul 5, 2011
I love this quote.

"no one witnessed anyone take anything from the office the previous day."

So was there a surveillance camera in the hallway? As scared & paranoid as Bergman was I'm surprised he didn't have one in the hallway. AND if there wasn't any then why did Frank have them put up all over the Village in their other buildings???
I guess the camera didn't work that day at the village hall, or did the tapes mysteriously disappear like so many other things in Cahokia while Bergman was mayor.
Remember the police making these reports were still under Bergman & Watson's thumbs & I would bet they were told what to report & say so they wouldn't get fired.
Messypants

Caseyville, IL

#6 Jul 5, 2011
I am Tire Of It. People like ME keep drinking the Kool-Aid & get in line w/the rest of the sheepeople & I keep voting the way I am told to vote. Come on folks when is it going to come to an end. Thieves, liars & crooks all need to be in jail, YET some of US continue to vote these same thieves, liars & crooks in just because of what party they are & we have been aligned over the years.
And to think all of US are suppose to be Independent Thinkers instead of sheep being lead to slaughter every election day.
parker

East Saint Louis, IL

#7 Jul 5, 2011
wondering wrote:
At the bottom ofall this, in the middle of all this, and the end of all this is the unelected Czar of St. Corrupt County-Bob "Buy Me" Sprague! Good jog, Gary, keep after the Falling Frank Felony Friends.
good job gary! have you chased bergman long enough? lets focus on things at hand- like the st clair county taxes we are paying? if you want to really do something, step up and fight for lower taxes. do you really need all of this old used equipment so much you are running up attorney fees to collect it? i am sure duroso enjoys billing the village for the chase! and what about the sewer lines, street repairs, hoods in the street, parking lot robberies???? how about it gary? you are tying up the police department chasing bergman! this puts you right up there with bergman-what a waste of time and money! how much is all of this old equipment worth? oh yea, it is the principal of it all! do something constructive for a change!
Seriously People

Saint Louis, MO

#8 Jul 5, 2011
@ Parker - If you think you can do a better job why didn't you run for mayor? Did it ever cross your mind that the old computer may contain evidence to convict Bergman of embezzlement? Guess it would not cross your mind, you would need an intelligent brain to realize how the whole process works.

Everyone has such a quick solution. What about working towards the greater good of the community. Take your rage to St. Clair Co. The property taxes in Cahokia have been the highest in the county for a long, long time. Guess it is easier to sit behind a computer and complain and expect everyone else to get out and physically make the change.
parker

East Saint Louis, IL

#9 Jul 5, 2011
Seriously People wrote:
@ Parker - If you think you can do a better job why didn't you run for mayor? Did it ever cross your mind that the old computer may contain evidence to convict Bergman of embezzlement? Guess it would not cross your mind, you would need an intelligent brain to realize how the whole process works.
Everyone has such a quick solution. What about working towards the greater good of the community. Take your rage to St. Clair Co. The property taxes in Cahokia have been the highest in the county for a long, long time. Guess it is easier to sit behind a computer and complain and expect everyone else to get out and physically make the change.
no it is not easier to sit behing a computer and complain but i thought i voted for cornwell to improve cahokia- not stay on a paper chase. bergman would not be stupid enough to have conviction evidence on the computer in question. cornwell is an elected official, paid by our tax dollars- now can he get up off his ass and do something? i have- as others - waited a long time for a change and all that is happening is he is chasing bergman- i hope he can take a break and worry about a town that has struggled for so long- there is almost no comeback. no town, no mayor, no payday cornwell. i think it is his responsiblity to fight for the reduction in our taxes, and to fight for improvements and grants to make the improvements. oh yea- he is hiring people to mow.
Do it or hush

East Saint Louis, IL

#10 Jul 5, 2011
Stop whining and report this stuff to: www.propublica.org

Investigative reporters beholden to NO ONE stand by to help make this public to the national level and beyond. This story was bizarre enough to catch the attention of many. If you want this whole county to change the way they do things, speak up. Show what proof you can, they can fill in the rest. You have the chance you may never have again. It's your tax money after all. And your own quality of life in the balance here. This Frank mess can be the chance to show Cahokia still has folks who can handle what monies they are given to do well. Or you can drop the ball again. Your call. They wait...
Seriously People

Saint Louis, MO

#11 Jul 5, 2011
parker wrote:
<quoted text>no it is not easier to sit behing a computer and complain but i thought i voted for cornwell to improve cahokia- not stay on a paper chase. bergman would not be stupid enough to have conviction evidence on the computer in question. cornwell is an elected official, paid by our tax dollars- now can he get up off his ass and do something? i have- as others - waited a long time for a change and all that is happening is he is chasing bergman- i hope he can take a break and worry about a town that has struggled for so long- there is almost no comeback. no town, no mayor, no payday cornwell. i think it is his responsiblity to fight for the reduction in our taxes, and to fight for improvements and grants to make the improvements. oh yea- he is hiring people to mow.
Many of us voted Mayor Cornwell and for the promises of change in Cahokia. The mayor was raised in Cahokia. He has seen the changes. He unlike others that took “white flight” decided to stay and do something. You have to be realistic in your demands, this town has been neglected for so many years and it will not improve over night. The people of this community sat back and allowed past officials to push Cahokia to where it is today. Again, everyone wants to blame someone else. And yes Bergman would be that stupid to leave incriminating evidence on the computer he used while in office. He has proven over and over just how stupid he is… he tried to hide the city vehicle after he crashed it, and when he tried to cover up the truth of what really happened when he was in that collision in St. Charles a witness spoke up. Someone has to pursue Bergman. St. Clair Co. sure won’t do anything but keep scratching his back.

About your property taxes… St. Clair Co. allows drive by assessing of property. Meaning,, a county tax assessor can just drive by your property and raise your taxes because you planted a tree or painted your fence. Yes, the mayor can demand the county lower our taxes but we need to back the mayor. All the business have left and it is hard to get a reputable business back out there. The change starts with the people. We have to take back our community. I can care less that the mayor is paying someone to cut the grass. My question would be, is the grass getting cut? Does the neighborhoods look any better?

We have a new code enforcement officer as well. I already know of someone on my street that received a warning to cut their grass. I’ve seen the cops stop kids that where playing basketball on the streets and told the kids to move the hoop into the driveway. This is a slow process but at least it is starting to move in the right direction.

Next Town Hall meeting is July 12th… why not go there and asked your questions, bring your suggestions. Would you volunteer for neighborhood watch or anything else to better our community? If we all band together this place can be good again but first we need to get rid of the “what have you done for me lately” way of thinking.
Seriously People

Saint Louis, MO

#12 Jul 5, 2011
Do it or hush wrote:
Stop whining and report this stuff to: www.propublica.org
Investigative reporters beholden to NO ONE stand by to help make this public to the national level and beyond. This story was bizarre enough to catch the attention of many. If you want this whole county to change the way they do things, speak up. Show what proof you can, they can fill in the rest. You have the chance you may never have again. It's your tax money after all. And your own quality of life in the balance here. This Frank mess can be the chance to show Cahokia still has folks who can handle what monies they are given to do well. Or you can drop the ball again. Your call. They wait...
Do you work for this place? How long does it take to get a response? I keep seeing this link posted and still waiting for someone to "get back to me".

I'd rather appear in person to chat to someone, this way they can't put you on hold or ignore your emails, letters.
Seriously People

Saint Louis, MO

#13 Jul 5, 2011
Our Buddy Frank wrote:
I love this quote.
"no one witnessed anyone take anything from the office the previous day."
So was there a surveillance camera in the hallway? As scared & paranoid as Bergman was I'm surprised he didn't have one in the hallway. AND if there wasn't any then why did Frank have them put up all over the Village in their other buildings???
I guess the camera didn't work that day at the village hall, or did the tapes mysteriously disappear like so many other things in Cahokia while Bergman was mayor.
Remember the police making these reports were still under Bergman & Watson's thumbs & I would bet they were told what to report & say so they wouldn't get fired.
Of course nobody witnessed anything,, the video surveillance was “temporarily” down for maintenance while all this vandalism was going on.
Do it or hush

Caseyville, IL

#14 Jul 5, 2011
Seriously People wrote:
<quoted text>
Many of us voted Mayor Cornwell and for the promises of change in Cahokia. The mayor was raised in Cahokia. He has seen the changes. He unlike others that took “white flight” decided to stay and do something. You have to be realistic in your demands, this town has been neglected for so many years and it will not improve over night. The people of this community sat back and allowed past officials to push Cahokia to where it is today. Again, everyone wants to blame someone else. And yes Bergman would be that stupid to leave incriminating evidence on the computer he used while in office. He has proven over and over just how stupid he is… he tried to hide the city vehicle after he crashed it, and when he tried to cover up the truth of what really happened when he was in that collision in St. Charles a witness spoke up. Someone has to pursue Bergman. St. Clair Co. sure won’t do anything but keep scratching his back.
About your property taxes… St. Clair Co. allows drive by assessing of property. Meaning,, a county tax assessor can just drive by your property and raise your taxes because you planted a tree or painted your fence. Yes, the mayor can demand the county lower our taxes but we need to back the mayor. All the business have left and it is hard to get a reputable business back out there. The change starts with the people. We have to take back our community. I can care less that the mayor is paying someone to cut the grass. My question would be, is the grass getting cut? Does the neighborhoods look any better?
We have a new code enforcement officer as well. I already know of someone on my street that received a warning to cut their grass. I’ve seen the cops stop kids that where playing basketball on the streets and told the kids to move the hoop into the driveway. This is a slow process but at least it is starting to move in the right direction.
Next Town Hall meeting is July 12th… why not go there and asked your questions, bring your suggestions. Would you volunteer for neighborhood watch or anything else to better our community? If we all band together this place can be good again but first we need to get rid of the “what have you done for me lately” way of thinking.
What a dumb AZZ!
parker

East Saint Louis, IL

#15 Jul 5, 2011
Seriously People wrote:
<quoted text>
Many of us voted Mayor Cornwell and for the promises of change in Cahokia. The mayor was raised in Cahokia. He has seen the changes. He unlike others that took “white flight” decided to stay and do something. You have to be realistic in your demands, this town has been neglected for so many years and it will not improve over night. The people of this community sat back and allowed past officials to push Cahokia to where it is today. Again, everyone wants to blame someone else. And yes Bergman would be that stupid to leave incriminating evidence on the computer he used while in office. He has proven over and over just how stupid he is… he tried to hide the city vehicle after he crashed it, and when he tried to cover up the truth of what really happened when he was in that collision in St. Charles a witness spoke up. Someone has to pursue Bergman. St. Clair Co. sure won’t do anything but keep scratching his back.
About your property taxes… St. Clair Co. allows drive by assessing of property. Meaning,, a county tax assessor can just drive by your property and raise your taxes because you planted a tree or painted your fence. Yes, the mayor can demand the county lower our taxes but we need to back the mayor. All the business have left and it is hard to get a reputable business back out there. The change starts with the people. We have to take back our community. I can care less that the mayor is paying someone to cut the grass. My question would be, is the grass getting cut? Does the neighborhoods look any better?
We have a new code enforcement officer as well. I already know of someone on my street that received a warning to cut their grass. I’ve seen the cops stop kids that where playing basketball on the streets and told the kids to move the hoop into the driveway. This is a slow process but at least it is starting to move in the right direction.
Next Town Hall meeting is July 12th… why not go there and asked your questions, bring your suggestions. Would you volunteer for neighborhood watch or anything else to better our community? If we all band together this place can be good again but first we need to get rid of the “what have you done for me lately” way of thinking.
I always attend the village meetings- but when i voice my opinion it is never heard- and that includes the new admin. yes- the mayor should be held accountable- i do not care how long he has been in office- he knew the problems when he ran. he should be working day and night to take care of business- we are paying him. he should protest the taxes this area pays- he should be the spokesperson for the entire community. it is nice the police have moved kids out of the street who are playing basketball- but they have always done this. i am more concerned with the fact that i cannot safely go to the grocery store, i am more concerned that a group of kids hanging out could have a weapon, i am concerned about my safety each time i leave my house. i am also concerned about the fees duroso is charging each time the old mayor is addressed- this puts him there with sprague. sure duroso tells cornwell you can pursue this or that this is the law- but each piece of advice comes with a fee to duroso. so don't say he has not been in office long enough- there have not been any turn arounds in this town- cornwell is off chasing bergman. the neighborhood watch- i am not putting my life on the line to watch the neighborhood the village is being paid to watch.
Seriously People

Saint Louis, MO

#16 Jul 5, 2011
Do it or hush wrote:
<quoted text>
What a dumb AZZ!
Really? Is that the best reply you could come up with?
Seriously People

Saint Louis, MO

#17 Jul 5, 2011
@Do it or hush – why get all closed minded and call me a dum azz? Seriously, I simply asked a few legit questions. This link has been posted numerous times. I’ve emailed them because I did not want to be on hold forever. It is like the same run around every time you try to contact the media. If they can accomplish what everyone claims then that is a great thing. Do you even live in Cahokia? I’m guessing not.
@ parker- It is really sad that you feel you have to live in fear. I am not being condescending with my comment. I honestly think it is sad that you feel this way and that is why I think we all should stand up together. You are not alone in your feelings. I know a few of the longtime residents and they feel the same way. I went to HS out here and had to deal with the “gang bangers” but I learned early on, if you run, you will always be running. I refused to let them scare me then and I sure won’t let them do it now. Call me stupid, crazy, a dumb azz or whatever you may… that is my stand and I will not back down.
It is a good thing that you do go to town hall meetings. I do know that the new admin is listening and trying to check into every possible solution. I don’t get to all the meetings due to my work schedule, but I do send letters and emails with questions and concerns. I know the mayor listens.
Yes Duroso is getting paid for services, but who do you know that would work for free? Do I completely agree with the spending? Maybe not, but if you want change it comes with a cost. You have to pick the less of two evils.
Neighborhood watch worked... nobody expects you to walk the streets and stop crime… just be watchful and call the police. But on the outside looking in, I completely understand why people don’t do this anymore. It is just a sad state of affairs and everyone has a choice in how they deal with it. People that do not live in the village and do not pay taxes or the people that took flight back in the 80’s really have no clue and they are the real dumb azz’s that want to comment because they have nothing else to do.
Agree

De Soto, MO

#18 Jul 5, 2011
I'm with Seriously... I bet Do it or hush it does not even live in Cahokia. I would also bet Do it or hush it is one that is giving the bad judge it reviews.

Why would someone say Seriously's post is mean? Sounds anything but mean. They don't seem too clueless either. IDK. guess that is what you do when you don't understand something.

Has anyone gone to the link that Do it or hush it reccomends? I was told by some from BND that reporters dont want to cover any reports on Cahokia anymore. IDK just wondering.
What a mess

De Soto, MO

#19 Jul 5, 2011
Agree wrote:
I'm with Seriously... I bet Do it or hush it does not even live in Cahokia. I would also bet Do it or hush it is one that is giving the bad judge it reviews.
Why would someone say Seriously's post is mean? Sounds anything but mean. They don't seem too clueless either. IDK. guess that is what you do when you don't understand something.
Has anyone gone to the link that Do it or hush it reccomends? I was told by some from BND that reporters dont want to cover any reports on Cahokia anymore. IDK just wondering.
That is what people do when they don't have the braincells think out of the box.
Kim

East Saint Louis, IL

#20 Jul 5, 2011
Uh...did you all notice the IP point isn't even the same for those two "Hush" people? You are getting upset at a troll acting as another. If you would spend all of that mental energy you spend tiffing and one-upping each other helping the village, it would be time better spent. Now come here and get your hugs>>>>

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