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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois judge is taking up an activist's lawsuit that seeks the ouster of East St. Louis' mayor and four council members for alleged misconduct.

The Belleville News-Democrat (http://bit.ly/1aPMhSS ) reports the lawsuit by Matt Hawkins of Civic Alliance of East St. Louis was to be the subject of a St. Clair County Circuit Court hearing Friday afternoon.

Hawkins wants the judge to fine the city $435,000. City officials have requested that the lawsuit be dismissed, claiming it was improperly filed.

Hawkins alleges that city officials violated state law related to the Freedom of Information Act and related to the administration of tax increment financing districts.

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Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com

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