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Ex-St. Louis County Executive Stenger is released from prison

CLAYTON (AP) — Former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger has been released from prison after serving less than two years of a nearly four-year sentence on corruption charges.

A court official confirmed that Stenger, a Democrat, was now under house arrest after serving at a federal prison camp in Yankton, S.D., 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 scheme, 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 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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