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Alorton village official admits lying to public corruption task force

Alorton village official admits lying to public corruption task force

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ALORTON • Alorton Village Administrator Lamar Gentry pleaded guilty to a federal crime Wednesday and admitted obstructing justice by lying to a member of the Southern Illinois Public Corruption Task Force.

Gentry's plea to a felony charge of making a false statement says that St. Louis police were investigating a report of shots fired from a white Chevrolet Impala on Sept. 19, 2017, when they spotted a similar-looking car.

The driver and passenger jumped out and ran. The license plates on the car were municipal plates assigned to Gentry.

FBI agents and task force members then began investigating a "stolen vehicle and possible drug activity," Gentry's plea says. When they spoke to Gentry on Oct. 13, he lied by saying he had sold the car and received partial payment, his plea says.

Gentry's sentencing is set for Dec. 18. Prosecutors think federal sentencing guidelines for Gentry, 71, will call for 10 to 16 months in prison; his lawyer says it should range from probation to six months in prison.

Defense lawyer Clyde Kuehn declined to comment after Wednesday's hearing.

It's not Gentry's first guilty plea in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis. In 2007, he pleaded guilty to tax evasion and was sentenced to eight months in prison. Gentry admitted failing to file individual tax returns or returns for his company, "The Gentry Group," from 1998-2004 and failing to pay $56,000 in taxes. Gentry was working on a contractual basis for the Alorton and Washington Park and was involved in an Illinois Department of Transportation land acquisition project in Venice and East St. Louis. 

Gentry was also a longtime East St. Louis official.

In 1988, he pleaded guilty of "misconduct by a municipal officer" after being accused of using more than $11,800 in city money to fund then Mayor Carl E. Officer's re-election campaign. He quit as part of the deal but was rehired six years later.

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