Rep. El-Amin pleads guilty to bribery
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Rep. El-Amin pleads guilty to bribery

Date: September 24, 2009
By: Abby Grimmett
State Capitol Bureau

Intro:  Yet another St. Louis democrat is added to the list of more than a half-dozen elected officials who recently faced federal charges.  Abby Grimmett has more from the State Capitol.  
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OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: House Democratic Leader Paul Levota from Kansas City says cases like these increase the publics mistrust in their state government, but there's not a widespread ethical problem within the Missouri legislature.

Actuality:  LEVOTA1.WAV
Run Time:  00:16
Description: It seems like a real problem for St. Louis Democrats and I just don't know how else to react besides this shouldn't be happening.

On the other side of the aisle, Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields says he doesn't want to pinpoint ethical issues on Democrats, or St. Louis Democrats for that matter.

He says he thinks it could just be a matter of circumstance, and Republicans and Democrats alike need to maintain the publics governmental trust.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Abby Grimmett, Newsradio 1120 KMOX.

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Intro:  There are now seven state legislators who have faced federal charges in the past two years, and it appears there may be an ethics problem in Missouri's general assembly. Abby Grimmett has more from the State Capitol.
RunTime:  0:46
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Democrat and Republican leaders alike say they are disappointed with newest addition to several state legislators who have given the government a bad wrap.

Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields says cases like this increase the public's negative perceptions of the government.

Actuality:  SHIELDC2.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: It damages the public trust, and as somebody that holds that public trust, you find that upsetting because ultimately you want people to have confidence in their government.

Other top legislators agreed.

But House Democratic Leader Paul LaVota pointed out there is still accountability within the state government, since these legislators have been facing the consequences of breaking the law.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Abby Grimmett, Newsradio 1120 KMOX.

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Intro:  Now that seven state legislators have been indicted over the past two years, there is a question of whether there is an ethics problem in Missouri's General Assembly. Abby Grimmett has more from the State Capitol.
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OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Leaders in the House and Senate agree, this reflects badly on the state Government.

House Minority Leader Paul LaVota says legislators should know the difference between right and wrong, and holding an office doesn't mean you're able to break the law.

Actuality:  LAVOTA3.WAV
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Description: Well, I mean quite frankly, I'm not sure what these guys are thinking.

LaVota did say he thinks the majority of General Assembly is there for the right reason, and sticks to doing the right thing.

But Senate Pro-Tem Charlie Shields says that because of indicted legislators like Jeff Smith, Steve Brown and most recently T.D. El-Amin, ethics within the state government are questionable.

Actuality:  SHIELDC3.WAV
Run Time:  00:14
Description: I don't know that you can say we have a widespread problem at this point, but we have people who have not upheld the level of expectations not only for the public, but for the rest of the legislators in the institution.

Both Sheilds and LaVota say there is no need for some kind of program to teach ethical practices to elected officials - they say legislators should know the differences between right and wrong.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Abby Grimmett.

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Intro:  Yet another state legislator has been indicted. Abby Grimmett has more from the State Capitol
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Wrap: St. Louis Democratic Representative T.D. El-Amin pled guilty to bribery in a Federal court Thursday.

He now faces 18 to 24 months in prison.

El-Amin is now included on the list of six other state legislators who have been indicted over the past two years - and the fourth from St. Louis.

Fellow House Democrat, Minority Leader Paul LaVota says he is dissappointed with the actions of El-Amin and the former legislators who broke the law.

Actuality:  LAVOTA9.WAV
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Description: I guess the only positive thing I can say about this is that the system works, and people who break the rules are going to be held accountable.

Senate Leaders say they are pleased El-Amin is being held accountable.

Senate President Pro-Tem Charlie Shields says this kind of accountablity is crucial in maintaining the public's trust in the government.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Abby Grimmett.

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Intro:  Six state legislators have faced federal charges in the past two years, and after another legislator's guilty plea in Federal court Thursday, the list grows to seven. Abby Grimmett has more from the State Capitol.
RunTime:  0:35
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: St. Louis Democratic Representative T.D. El-Amin plead guilty to bribery charges.

Now leaders in the House and Senate are anticipating his resignation, including fellow house Democrat, Minority Leader Paul Lavota.

Actuality:  LAVOTA5.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: I do expect a resignation from him. I'm surprised that is hasn't come yet but I'm assuming it should come. I'm assuming it will come and I think it should come.

LaVota says he is dissappointed with El-Amin's actions, but is pleased he is being held accountable.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Abby Grimmett, Newsradio 1120 KMOX.

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