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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Two St. Louis officials are facing federal charges that they stole nearly a half million dollars in city funds over the past eight years.

A federal grand jury indicted 43-year-old Thomas "Dan" Stritzel, the city's chief park ranger, and 55-year-old deputy parks commissioner Joseph Vacca.

The indictment released Thursday accuses each man of three mail-fraud counts, alleging they men used various schemes to spend the stolen money on vehicle leases, credit card bills and other expenses.

A message was left Thursday with Stritzel's attorney, Scott Rosenblum. Online court records don't show whether Vacca has legal counsel.

Maggie Carson, a spokeswoman for Mayor Francis Slay, calls the charges "disappointing." She says the two defendants are being placed on forced, unpaid leave, pending disciplinary proceedings.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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