ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A St. Louis County Assistant Prosecutor resigned because of intimate text messages. The texts aren`t the problem - it`s the person to whom he sent them - a paralegal who`s being investigated by the Feds for offering an inside deal. The St. Louis Post Dispatch broke the story.
The Federal indictment names paralegal Jillian Nichols. It states that she asked a sexual assault suspect for $10,000. She reportedly claimed she could use her inside track with a prosecutor to make a special deal. St. Louis Post Dispatch reporter Robert Patrick uncovered how the investigation impacted a respected prosecutor.
Patrick said Nichols was 'falsely claiming at (one) point that the prosecutor was in on it.'
The indictment states Nichols told a suspect that a St. Louis County Assistant Prosecutor '...is going to give (you) a deal'... 'Something like probation.'
Reporter Robert Patrick found that suspect is Ziyaa Umarov. Patrick continued, 'According to the indictment she approached Umarov and essentially said `hey, have I got a deal for you` and that deal, again, according to indictment was - in exchange for $10,000, she would make things happen with his case.'
The indictment says it was `false` and there`s no evidence a prosecutor was in on it. Yet former St. Louis County Assistant Prosecutor John Quarenghi reportedly resigned in December because federal investigators discovered intimate texts Quarenghi was exchanging with Nichols. Reporter Patrick explained, 'It`s not clear what it is, no one has said - there`s no transcript of the calls that I`ve been able to get my hands on. (They`re reportedly) intimate, personal, embarrassing... where things go beyond that, we`ll have to see if it all comes out in Federal Court. '
Quarenghi now works at the Prosecutor`s office in Warren County and was reportedly not in the office today. He`s a single man, who`s widely known as a respected prosecutor. His former employer, St. Louis County, reports it did review Quarenghi`s past and present cases and found 'absolutely nothing suspicious.'