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Former chief of staff for Steve Stenger pleaded guilty in federal corruption case

Bill Miller admits he helped the former St. Louis County Executive award high-dollar contracts in exchange for campaign donations
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — A former top aide to former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger pleaded guilty Friday as part of a federal corruption case.

William "Bill" Miller, 54, of Richmond Heights is charged with one count of aiding and abetting honest services wire fraud/bribery.

According to court documents, Miller was hired by Stenger in December 2017 to serve as chief of staff.

Stenger also appointed Miller to serve on the board of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership during 2018.

Miller has admitted to working with Stenger to pressure executive staff at the partnership to award high-dollar county contracts to campaign donors.

Specifically, Miller admitted to making sure Sheila Sweeney, the former chief executive officer of the partnership, awarded a nearly $200,000 state lobbying contract to "company one" and its principal owner.

That happened, prosecutors said, despite the fact that another company had a lower bid on the same contract.

Prosecutors said their evidence of the pay to play scheme includes first-hand account witnesses, thousands of pieces of electronic communication and undercover recorded meetings and conversations.

One such conversation occurred at a Starbucks in downtown Clayton on November 20, 2018 between Miller, Sweeney and two unnamed members of Stenger's executive staff.

Miller's guilty plea is the result of an investigation that began in March 2018 and remains active and ongoing.

Miller resigned as chief of staff in April.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for September.

Stenger and Sweeney previously plead guilty to related federal corruption charges and are scheduled to be sentenced in August.

John Rallo, a top Stenger donor, has also been indicted on related charges.

Miller, through his attorney, had no comment upon leaving federal court.