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Ex-St. Louis County executive released from prison

A former Democratic St. Louis County executive has been released from prison after serving less than two years of a nearly four-year sentence on corruption charges.

A court official confirmed to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Steve Stenger is under house arrest after serving at a federal prison camp in Yankton, South Dakota, where he first reported in September 2019.

Stenger pleaded guilty in May 2019 to charges related to a pay-to-play corruption scheme. Federal investigators said Stenger provided favors in exchange for campaign contributions.

Though Stenger was initially sentenced to 46 months, his sentence was later reduced and is set to end in December.

Stenger’s chief of staff, Bill Miller, and campaign donor John Rallo were also indicted in the scheme and sentenced to prison time. Both have since been released. Also, former St. Louis Economic Development Partnership CEO Sheila Sweeney pleaded guilty to similar charges but was fined and sentenced to probation.

Federal prosecutors indicted Stenger for schemes involving the Economic Development Partnership, which controls powerful county economic development agencies.

In one, he and Sweeney manipulated bidding procedures to ensure that Rallo and a business partner won contracts to purchase large tracts of real estate the St. Louis County Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority owned in the town of Wellston. In another, the St. Louis County Port Authority awarded Rallo a sham $130,000 marketing contract where no work was actually performed.


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