EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A former East St. Louis school board president who once tried to have a political opponent killed has died.
Charles Merritts Sr. was 92 when he died earlier this month at a Belleville hospital.
Merritts owned a taxi business, an insurance company, liquor stores and two popular nightclubs in East St. Louis. He also served as a local Democratic precinct committeeman and a sheriff's deputy.
Merritts once was sentenced to five years in federal prison after admitting he tried to arrange the killing of a school board member and newspaper publisher who was one of his critics. The plot unraveled when Merritts and a middleman tried to hire an undercover FBI agent as hitman.