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2 St. Louis Officials Accused of Stealing $465,000

Posted: May 16, 2013 9:40 AM by Associated Press

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ST. LOUIS - Two St. Louis officials are facing federal charges that they stole nearly a half million dollars in city funds over the past eight years.

A federal grand jury indicted 43-year-old Thomas "Dan" Stritzel, the city's chief park ranger, and 55-year-old deputy parks commissioner Joseph Vacca.

The indictment released Thursday accuses each man of three mail-fraud counts, alleging they men used various schemes to spend the stolen money on vehicle leases, credit card bills and other expenses.

A message was left Thursday with Stritzel's attorney, Scott Rosenblum. Online court records don't show whether Vacca has legal counsel.

Maggie Carson, a spokeswoman for Mayor Francis Slay, calls the charges "disappointing." She says the two defendants are being placed on forced, unpaid leave, pending disciplinary proceedings.

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