Breaking News
More () »

Former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger pleads guilty to charges

Stenger changed his earlier plea of not guilty, which he made on Monday.

ST. LOUIS – Former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger appeared in federal court Friday and has pleaded guilty to three counts of honest services bribery/mail fraud. 

He made his first court appearance on Monday hours after a grand jury indictment was unsealed and shortly after he resigned as St. Louis County executive. On Monday, he pleaded not guilty. 

PREVIOUS STORY: St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger resigns, pleads not guilty in federal pay-to-play scheme charges

Federal prosecutor Hal Goldsmith said a year-long undercover investigation led to Monday's developments. The U.S. Attorney's Office, FBI, Postal Inspection Service, IRS and several cooperating witnesses helped to contribute to the lengthy investigation.

Investigators reviewed thousands of emails and text messages and listened to recorded meetings and phone calls over their year of undercover work, which started in 2018.

Stenger secretly used his position as county executive to make money and, in turn, help companies enrich themselves "through corrupt means," according to the indictment.

Specifically, Stenger is accused of making sure John Rallo and his companies Cardinal Insurance and Cardinal Creative Consulting got contracts with St. Louis County in 2015 and 2016 in exchange for campaign donations and fundraising events.

RELATED: Aldermanic President Lewis Reed's campaign did business with firm at heart of Stenger indictment

Stenger also is accused of ensuring Rallo and his company Wellston Holdings, LLC, got the options to buy two properties in Wellston, Missouri, which were held by the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of St. Louis County in 2016 and 2017.

The indictment accuses Stenger of taking steps to "hide, conceal and cover up his illegal conduct and actions, including making false public statements."

Click here to read the indictment.

What other people are reading right now

Before You Leave, Check This Out