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Stenger no longer de facto 'metro mayor' in Better Together plan

A refiling of the amendment Monday will change the leadership plan for a merged city-county.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — While the top elected official in St. Louis County could be facing a federal investigation, his future as a “metro mayor” could also be in jeopardy.

This morning Unite STL, the group behind the “Better Together” proposal, said they would re-file their amendment to expedite the selection of a new leader. Under the previous plan, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger would automatically become the metro mayor until a new election in 2024.

READ MORE: St. Louis County served subpoena in federal investigation of County Executive Steve Stenger

However, they cited community conversation—rather than the investigation—as their reasoning.

“Over the last two months, we have received strong feedback at stakeholder meetings, public town halls, and on social media regarding the decision to hold the election for Metro Mayor in November 2024,” reads a statement from the organization. “We listened and we have heard those concerns. Today, Unite STL is changing the amendment to hold the election for Metro Mayor in November 2022.”

“Obviously, this is not a decision you make rashly or quickly,” it continues. “Rather, we have come to believe over time that the concerns expressed were reasonable, well-taken and needed to be addressed.”

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. Under a plan from the nonprofit Better Together, the area that's now the city and county would have one elected mayor

This change came shortly after a federal grand jury issued a subpoena to St. Louis County seeking records involving Stenger, according to St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas.

A St. Louis County Council investigation looked into land deals for Wellstone, Northwest Plaza and others. The council questioned Stenger’s possible involvement in offering high-dollar deals to the owners of both properties. Those property owners also contributed thousands of dollars to Stenger’s campaign.

It now appears U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen is taking up the investigation.