Best Local Boy Gone Bad

Steve Stenger

Staff Pick

In 2014, things were looking good for Steve Stenger. That's the year the then-chairman of the St. Louis County Council defeated longtime incumbent Charlie Dooley in the Democratic primary for the position of county executive, in part by painting his opponent as corrupt and abusive of the public's trust. Fast-forward to August 2019: A disgraced Stenger has resigned from office, been stripped of his law license and pleaded guilty to three felonies for his central role in a pay-to-play scheme that was uncovered through a yearlong undercover federal investigation. As if that wasn't shameful enough, the feds even came with receipts: Specifically, they had transcripts of Stenger speaking to his staff in no uncertain terms about his blatant corruption. "How about that, motherfuckers?" he was recorded saying after winning re-election in November 2018. "I don't show up to the council meetings. I don't do fucking shit." Though he put on his best remorseful puppy dog face in court, the judge simply wasn't buying it, and Stenger was sentenced to three years and ten months in prison, the maximum allowed under federal guidelines. Dooley, we're assuming, popped himself a bottle of champagne. Karma's a bitch, eh, Steve? How about that, motherfucker?

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