ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to put former County Executive Steve Stenger behind bars for as long as possible. They presented the judge with documents that show the horrible deeds he’s responsible for and how he could not care less about the people he was elected to represent.
Steve Stenger is due back at the federal courthouse a week from today. That’s when the judge is to sentence him.
The prosecutor’s description of Stenger could not be any worse. Quotes from Stenger are loaded with profanity and curse words.
One passage says, “He placed his own personal interests and political ambition above all else, and engaged in a classic illegal pay to play scheme in order to fill his own political coffers and fuel his political campaigns.”
Another says, “…he treated important government contracts and grants as something to barter away as if they were his own personal thank you gifts.”
He bragged to his executive staff about doing little work. Stenger said, “I don’t show up to the council meetings. I don’t do (expletive). I’ve been sitting at my house for the past two-month raising money and then won by 20 percent. The world’s an (expletive) place.”
Stenger and the chair of the county council Dr. Sam Page were often at odds. Stenger told his executive staff he was going to try to get Page’s hospital to fire Page.
“Get him fired, I’m serious too. It’s serious. I’m gonna expletive unload on this guy, professionally…” said former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger.
The documents say Stenger supported the plan to merge the city and the county for personal reasons with no concern for the residents. He wanted to be in charge of the new combined city-county government. Stenger in private said, “People are going to have me whether they like me or not."
County council members wrote a scathing letter to the judge. They told her Stenger’s pay to play scheme severely compromised the county’s brand for economic development. It has discouraged ethical developers from planning projects in the county. They said Stenger did not respect the dignity of his office. He wore shorts, a t-shirt and a baseball cap to work. And he spent much of the day playing video games in his office before leaving early.
Stenger’s attorney said he will file a memo to the judge on Stenger’s behalf and deliver a statement in the courtroom next Friday. United States sentencing guidelines call for 37 to 46 months in prison. It appears the prosecutors want the max.