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Kinloch mayor, already indicted, now faces witness-tampering charge

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 7, 2011 - Kinloch Mayor Keith Conway is now in deeper trouble with federal authorities, who have announced they have added "witness tampering'' to the charges he faces for alleged misuse of government money.

According to the U.S. attorney's office, the witness tampering charge stems from Conway's actions the day after his earlier indictment. 

"On or about May 24, 2011, Conway caused false information to be provided to one or more Kinloch city officials, including, but not limited to, several members of the board of aldermen, relative to the criminal charges pending against him and urged those officials and aldermen to provide false information relative to the criminal charges pending against him in the original indictment," the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement released today.

"The new charge of witness tampering carries a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment and/or fines up to $250,000."

Conway was originally indicted by a federal grand jury on May 23, and faces one felony count of wire fraud and one felony count of federal program theft. The wire fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000, while "federal program theft" carries a maximum of 10 years prison and/or fines up to $250,000.

Authorities accuse Conway of improperly using city money for personal expenses, including utility bills, vacation cruises to the Bahamas and the purchase of a time-share condominium in Florida. The allegations include spending as recent as March 31.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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