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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 16, 2019

Former Chief Executive Officer of St. Louis Economic Development Partnership Sentenced for Cover Up

St. Louis, MO – Sheila M. Sweeney, 62, of Ladue, was sentenced to three years’ probation for Misprision of a Felony and ordered to pay a fine of $20,000.  Sweeney appeared today before U.S. District Court Judge Catherine D. Perry. 

According to court documents, Sheila Sweeney was the Chief Executive Officer of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, having been recommended for that position by former St. Louis County Executive Steven V. Stenger during August 2015.  Stenger believed he could exercise control of the Partnership’s contracts and grants through Sweeney, who did, in fact, take her directions from Stenger throughout her tenure as Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership.  Sweeney had knowledge of Stenger’s ongoing bribery scheme, whereby Stenger accepted political donations in exchange for awarding contracts through St. Louis County and the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and its affiliated organizations.  Stenger’s scheme deprived the citizens of St. Louis County of their right to the honest services of both Stenger and Sweeney.  Knowing of Stenger’s illegal bribery scheme, Sweeney failed to report the criminal conduct to law enforcement.  Sweeney also took steps and engaged in conduct to conceal and cover up Stenger’s illegal bribery scheme which allowed Stenger’s scheme to continue undetected for several years.  By her criminal conduct, Sweeney violated her fiduciary duties to the Board of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, and abused the trust of the St. Louis County citizens who deserved her honest services.   

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Postal Inspection Service are investigating this case with the assistance of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated August 16, 2019