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Krewson, Stenger move closer to city-county merger plans

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger speaks at a joint news conference with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson on Monday, June 12, 2017, at the Cheshire Inn hotel. The two voiced their positions following a released report of a city-county merger study by the Better Together organization. Photo by Christian Gooden,

In their own words

The indictment quotes liberally from communications — many of them via text messaging — between Steve Stenger and others in his administration. Here are excerpts:

April 15, 2015

Rallo: I have a doc that I need to send you that will provide an overview with bullet points as to why this [Cardinal’s insurance plan] unequivocally makes sense for the County. Good to use as a reference for our conversation. What address should I send it to??

Stenger: Sstenger @ Plus I will see you tomorrow night [at a fundraiser].

Sept. 17, 2015

Stenger: Jeff and John: this is a group text with John Rallo and Jeff Wagener. I need to put u guys together for a meeting to discuss Montel (Williams) acting as a spokesperson and doing pr rehab for county thru Econ council (Partnership) as Jeff and I discussed earlier today. Please set asap.

Jeff Wagener: OK

Rallo: Jeff, I’ll reach out to you tomorrow to set something up. Thanks Steve.

Oct. 28, 2015

Rallo: Spoke w/ Sheila re: Montel… sounds like things are not going to move forward. Diametrically different from our conversation in your office. Let me know if you have a min to talk.

Stenger: The 350k won’t work for their budget but some other amount would.

Rallo: I understand. What is the number? Would like to discuss with you.

March 31, 2016

Stenger: John is there a way we would be able to get your 2500 for the quarter dated 3.31 in the next few days so we could count it for this quarter. We are trying to hit 300k for the quarter and it would be helpful.

Rallo: Will be in my office by noon. Will have a check ready by 1:00 for pick up or I could mail it. Let me know

Stenger: Perfect thank you we r in building next door.

Rallo: Do you want me to bring it to you?

Stenger: No but thank you Dave or Anna will get it. That’s what they do :) [Dave Tilly and Anna Noll were fundraisers for Stenger]

Rallo: Check is ready! Need 5 min call to go over a concern I have on the insurance RFP… are u avail later today?

Stenger: John what is your suite no

Rallo: 850… time for a quick call?

Stenger: Sure

Rallo: Spoke with Jeff Wagener & (St. Louis County Director of Administration) Pam Reitz… think we’re on the right path [regarding insurance contract]. Thanks

Stenger: If it looks off in any way let me know early

Rallo: Will do. Be sure and have someone send me info on [upcoming Stenger fundraiser] at the Blues game. I’m out of town on 4/12 & 4/13, but other that count me in for at least 1

Stenger: Will do we have it down

April 21, 2016

Rallo: I might want to take another Trustee spot… fill you in tomorrow

Stenger: OK. I like that

Rallo: I figured you wouldn’t mind ;-)

Sept. 27, 2016

Rallo: Got a sec?

Sweeney: I’m at happy hour. Can we text. I can’t hear!

Rallo: I’ll send you a draft of our response to (former Partnership General Counsel) Dustin Allison’s email, just wanted to get your thoughts prior to us submitting.

Sweeney: Send the response. And forward his email. Send it to

Rallo: Is your personal email?

Sweeney: Yes.

Rallo: Perfect! Have one for me.

Aug. 8, 2017

Rallo: Jacob Barker from the Post contacted [Wellston Holdings, LLC partner] and was asking a bunch of questions about Wellston & wants to meet tomorrow morning and go to the site… thoughts??? Call when free. Thx

Sweeney: I have a Port meeting at 4:00. Just got Post Sunshine request on Wellston Holdings… Don’t talk if they call you. F---. No don’t meet him. Trying to make the Steve & you connection. What did [Wellston Holdings, LLC partner] say? F---. I’m in Port meeting. Can’t talk. Shit. I hope he didn’t say anything.

Nov. 19, 2018

Stenger: Why don’t the three of you [Miller, Wagener, and (Stenger adviser Tom) Curran] go over there and talk to her [Sweeney]. Have, not a pressure, twist your arm shit, but talk to her and say, look at, Sheila, there are some real reasons why we can’t see this go the wrong way. Because this will f--- everything in the world up. You can’t do that. I mean, what is wrong with her?

William Miller: She’ll say, I’m about to get my budget cut…

Stenger: Who cares, as long as this happens… I’m about this close to pulling the trigger and saying get the f--- out of here.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger pleaded guilty to pay-for-play charges: Some background reading

Here's a collection of Post-Dispatch stories looking at some of the controversies surrounding the St. Louis County Executive.

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