Crime
2:20 pm
Thu July 7, 2011

Former political operative Ohlsen indicted for 2008 Clayton parking garage bombing

A former St. Louis Democratic political operative has been indicted in connection with a 2008 Clayton bombing that injured a lawyer.

After nearly a three-year investigation federal attorneys are accusing Milton “Skip” Ohlsen III of trying to kill his ex-wife’s divorce attorney.  

Ohlsen is already serving time on unrelated charges for mortgage fraud and illegal possession of a firearm.

A one-time Democratic strategist, Ohlsen is best known for his secret recordings that led to the downfall of St. Louis State Senator Jeff Smith for elections fraud and the subsequent cover-up.

U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan says a man resembling Ohlsen was caught on surveillance cameras leaving a gift-wrapped package in front of attorney John Gillis’ car.

 “It was a home-made bomb that if the intent was to kill then it was not well made, if the intent was just to injure then it was,” says Callahan.

Authorities believe Gillis was not the intended target, that it was actually another attorney, Richard Eisen, who was representing Ohlsen’s ex-wife in divorce proceedings.

“Law enforcement believes that he was just an unintended victim,” notes Callahan.  “He happened to drive the same make, model and color car that was also driven by Mr. Ohlsen’s wife’s lawyer in a divorce action that was pending.”

Gillis suffered burns to his arms and face when he picked up a package left by his car.

If convicted on all five felony counts Ohlsen could face up to life in prison.

Ohlsen's attorney did not return messages seeking comment.