Former St. Louis County Chief of Staff Sentenced for Pay to Play Scheme
St. Louis, MO – William Miller, 54, of Richmond Heights, was sentenced to 15 months and three years supervised release for aiding and abetting former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger’s honest services wire fraud/bribery scheme. Miller appeared in front of U.S. District Court Judge Rodney W. Sippel.
According to court documents and in Court statements, Miller was hired as Chief of Staff by then County Executive Stenger during December, 2017, and was responsible for primarily assisting Stenger in managing the day to day operations of St. Louis County Government, and supervising Stenger’s Executive Staff. Stenger also appointed Miller to the Board of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership during 2018. Stenger pled guilty on May 3, 2019 to 3 counts of honest services mail fraud/bribery relative to his scheme to defraud and deprive the citizens of St. Louis County of their right to his honest and faithful services through bribery and the concealment of material information. The purpose of the scheme was for Stenger to secretly use his official position to enrich himself through soliciting and accepting campaign contributions from individuals and their companies in exchange for favorable official action, including the awarding of County contracts and grants, and for individuals and their companies to enrich themselves and their companies by secretly obtaining favorable action for themselves and for their companies, through corrupt means.
The charge against Miller relates to his aiding and abetting Stenger’s criminal scheme, having taken official action to ensure that “Company One” and its principal owner obtained a 2019 state lobbying contract valued at approximately $200,000 from the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. In aiding and abetting Stenger’s criminal scheme, Miller communicated with, and personally met with Sheila Sweeney, then the CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, in order to persuade and ensure that Sweeney and the Partnership Board, of which Miller was a member, awarded the lobbying contract to Company One, over a second lobbying firm which had also bid on the lobbying contract. In taking such official action in aid of Stenger’s criminal scheme, Miller deprived the citizens of St. Louis County of their right to his honest services as the County’s Chief of Staff and as a member of the Board of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. Throughout his tenure as Chief of Staff, Miller actively participated in and aided and abetted Stenger’s criminal scheme relative to a number of Stenger’s political donors in order to maintain his position as Chief of Staff within Stenger’s administration.
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.