Subscribe for 99¢

ST. LOUIS — The sentencing hearing for John G. Rallo, one of the earliest campaign donors to former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, was postponed Thursday until Dec. 3.

Rallo lawyer John Rogers filed a sealed motion Thursday asking for the delay and declined to give a reason in a brief phone interview.

In a Sept. 17 court filing, Rogers wrote that he would be requesting a prison sentence below the recommended guidelines of 21 to 27 months in prison. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith requested a sentence within those guidelines, saying Rallo was second only to Stenger in criminal culpability in a wide-ranging pay-to-pay scheme.

Rallo, 54, pleaded guilty earlier this year to three honest services fraud charges and and admitted donating tens of thousands of dollars to Stenger with the expectation that he would receive county business or contracts in return.

"The relationship was corrupt from the beginning," Goldsmith wrote, referencing an October 2014 meeting at which Stenger promised to award Rallo county contracts in exchange for political donations. Rallo then handed over $5,000, and continued to donate as well as recruit other donors and hold Stenger fundraisers, prosecutors have said.

Stenger and his co-conspirators in 2016 directed the award of a “sham” $130,000 marketing contract to Rallo’s company, Cardinal Creative Consulting. In 2017, Rallo and his business partners were allowed to buy two county-owned industrial parks in Wellston for below their appraised price.

Stenger, a Democrat, pleaded guilty May 3 to three counts of honest services fraud and is now serving a 46-month prison sentence.

Stenger’s former chief of staff, Bill Miller, pleaded guilty to one count of the same crime and was sentenced to 15 months.

Sheila Sweeney, the former CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony and was sentenced to probation and fined $20,000.

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.

Get high-interest news alerts delivered promptly to your inbox.