ST. LOUIS - With both John Rallo and Sheila Sweeney dealing with their own indictments tied to the Steve Stenger pay-to-play investigation, Fox 2/KPLR 11 met with attorney Jay Kantzler of Dimmit, Witzel and Kantley to discuss their situation and what could be next.
On Friday, Rallo pleaded not guilty to three counts of honest services mail fraud-bribery. Sweeney, the former chief executive officer of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership admitted to participating in a cover-up.
Kantzler, who also hosts a show on The Big 550AM, said he was surprised by Rallo's not guilty plea.
“The federal government wins 95% of the time,” he said. “Now that doesn’t mean (Rallo) may not ultimately plead guilty, he may not be ready, want to see more evidence. He may intend to go to trial and say he didn’t know this was wrong.”
Kantzler said if Rallo pleads or his found guilty, he would be looking at a similar sentence as Stenger. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 to 4 years behind bars.
Sweeney's guilty of a felony for failing to report Stenger's illegal activity that she knew of, however, according to Kantzler, she may have cooperated with the feds and be sentenced to either probation or a short prison sentence.
“We see initials in the indictment ‘J.C.,’ ‘S.S.’ and others; that means further indictments are coming, two more out of that 11,” Kantzler said.
Kantzler said we shouldn’t be even more indictments on top of that.
“Absent are the names of people we know gave large amounts of money to the Stenger campaign and benefitted from his county executive position, like the owners of Northwest Plaza,” he said.