“Guilty, your honor” – Former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger answers pay to-play indictment

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Steve Stenger repeatedly answered a judge Friday, “Yes, your honor,” saying he understood the three federal charges for defrauding St. Louis County residents of honest services through bribery.

Stenger walked outside of court with his attorney Scott Rosenblum, stepping right up to a sea of cameras.

“Obviously, today was a very difficult day for Steve and his family,” Rosenblum said.

Rosenblum said his client would not comment. He said he would do the talking and not answer any questions.

“Steve has many things for which he’s very proud, especially for his role as a private lawyer and to countless individuals he’s helped. Today, obviously, was not one of those proud moments,” Rosenblum said.

In court, Assistant US Attorney Hal Goldsmith summarized evidence going back to 2014 before Stenger was even sworn in for office. It included hours of audio recorded meetings from not only inside Stenger’s office but also inside his home.

Stenger acknowledged in court Friday that prosecutors could prove he traded campaign contributions for contract deals.

“He’s completely accepted responsibility for his mistakes in judgment, his lapses in judgment, and his conduct while in office as county executive,” Rosenblum said.

Stenger ignored our questions as he walked with his attorney to a black SUV and left the courthouse.

A judge will sentence him August 9. The maximum prison time is 20 years for each of the three counts. However, the judge noted his offense level at 21, which would translate to about three to four years in prison, with a strict look at the guidelines.

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