Thursday, May 9, 2019

Sheila Sweeney to Plead Guilty Tomorrow; John Rallo Also Faces Criminal Charges

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2019 at 2:45 PM

click to enlarge Steve Stenger (left) leaves the federal courthouse on Monday with his attorney, Scott Rosenblum. - DOYLE MURPHY
  • DOYLE MURPHY
  • Steve Stenger (left) leaves the federal courthouse on Monday with his attorney, Scott Rosenblum.


Two of former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger's co-stars in his criminal indictment are set to make their own appearance in federal court tomorrow.

Former director of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership Sheila Sweeney is scheduled to plead guilty, according to the U.S. Attorney. And John Rallo, a major campaign donor to Stenger, is set to be arraigned during a separate hearing.



No criminal complaints have been unsealed in the two new cases, but documents in Stenger's case alleged the former county executive steered a consulting contract to Rallo in exchange for campaign contributions and used Sweeney to do it.

Sheila Sweeney is expected to plead guilty on Friday. - COURTESY ST. LOUIS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP
  • COURTESY ST. LOUIS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP
  • Sheila Sweeney is expected to plead guilty on Friday.

Rallo is the owner of Cardinal Insurance. He supported Stenger during both of his successful campaigns for county executive, pestering him for the contract to handle county employees' voluntary benefits. 

Federal investigators caught Stenger trying and failing to do exactly that, discussing multiple attempts in text messages and recorded conversations obtained by authorities.

He was eventually able to deliver a $130,000 do-nothing "consulting" contract to Rallo through the Port Authority, which Sweeney ran, federal prosecutors say. Sweeney also helped broker two land deals for Rallo at Stenger's request, the documents say.

Stenger was indicted, resigned and pleaded guilty during a whirlwind five days last week.

Rallo's arraignment is scheduled for 12 p.m. in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge David Noce. Sweeney's plea is set to follow at 3:30 p.m. in front of U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at doyle.murphy@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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