Steve Stenger pleads guilty, no further prosecution per plea deal

The former County Executive faces up to 20 years in prison for each count.

May 02, 2019 - 1:27 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger pleaded guilty today in court on three counts of honest services bribery and mail fraud.

In exchange for his guilty plea, there will be no further federal prosecution, according to the plea deal. 

U.S. District Court Judge Catherine D. Perry has set his sentencing hearing on August 9, 2019.

If convicted, each charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Restitution is mandatory. 

Steve Stenger's Guilty Plea by KMOX News Radio on Scribd

The U.S. Attorney's Office of Eastern Missouri announced yesterday that he would enter the guilty plea before U.S. District Court Judge Catherine D. Perry at 10:30 a.m.

Related: REARDON: It's hard to have faith in anyone running for public office

This week, Stenger was indicted on three counts of honest services bribery/mail fraud, then resigned as County Executive shortly after the indicment was made public.

His full resignation letter stated:

"It has been an honor to serve the people of St. Louis County as St. Louis County Executive. The past four years have been some of the most fulfilling years of my professional career.

I have determined after much thought that it is in the best interest of our County and my family that I resign as St. Louis County Executive effective immediately."

Sam Page was named the interim St. Louis County Executive in a vote, Monday evening. He released a statement on the expected guilty plea coming from Stenger: 

“This is proof that the justice system works. Mr. Stenger betrayed the trust that St. Louis County residents placed in our government. I am committed to reforming County government so that pay-to-play politics never infects it again.”

The Indictment alleges Stenger accepted campaign contributions from individuals and their companies in exchange for favorable official action, such as for individuals and their companies to enrich themselves and their companies by secretly obtaining favorable action for themselves and for their companies, through corrupt means. 

Related: St. Louis County Councilman Tim Fitch calls for Steve Stenger to resign

Some of the specific examples include Stenger took official action to insure that two companies owned by John Rallo, Cardinal Creative Consulting and Wellston Holdings, LLC,, obtained a 2016 consulting contract through the St. Louis County Port Authority, options to purchase two properties in Wellston, Missouri which were held by the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of St. Louis County during 2016 and 2017.

Stenger entered the courthouse with is lawyer Scott Rosenblum, Monday just before 1 p.m.

Rosenblum spoke to media with Stenger at his side, but did not make comments about the case. 

"This was not a surprise to us," Rosenblum said of the indictments released Monday morning. "We've been in contact with the United States Attorney's office for quite a while. Everything today was not a surprise."

Stenger did not make a statement. 

After the arraignment, Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith talked to reporters, but was limited in what he would say because it is an ongoing investigation. He would not talk on whether some County employees wore a wire to capture conversations.

"I cannot confirm the source of any of the text messages, or recorded meetings or recorded phone calls," Goldsmith says. "Again there were search warrants and there were phone orders and there were cooperating individuals."

Related: Where's Steve? St. Louis County Council Accuses Stenger of Absenteeism

The indictment also alleges Stenger took steps to hide, conceal and cover up his illegal conduct and actions, including making false public statements.   

This is a breaking news story that will be updated

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