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Kinloch mayor accused of using city money on vacations, home

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 23, 2011 - Kinloch Mayor Keith Conway faces a federal indictment that accuses him of improperly using city money for personal expenses, including utility bills, vacation cruises to the Bahamas, and buying a time-share condominium in Florida.

According to the office of U.S. Attorney Richard G. Callahan this morning, Conway was misspending money as late as March 31.

Among other things, the indictment says: "Between January 2009 and March 31, 2011, Conway used the city funds to pay for personal Bahamas vacation cruises, airline tickets to Las Vegas and Ft. Lauderdale, down payment and loan payments on a time-share condominium in Florida, personal credit-card bills, personal federal income taxes, as well as Ameren electric bills for his personal residence."

Conway, 47, was indicted by a grand jury on counts of wire fraud and federal program theft.

Callahan's office said, "If convicted, wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000; federal program theft carries a maximum of ten years prison and/or fines up to $250,000."

Added the release: This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, St. Louis County Police Department Intelligence Unit, U.S. Department of Labor office of inspector general and the Department of Justice office of inspector general."

The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith, who has handled a number of public corruption cases in the last couple years.

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.