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US attorney says no criminal charges will be filed in St. Louis County crime lab case

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ST. LOUIS — No criminal charges will be filed in an investigation of a contract for work at the St. Louis County police lab, a probe that the county executive believes cost him his job.

U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan's office announced Tuesday that a federal investigation "disclosed no evidence of wrongdoing."

SM Mechanical received $3.7 million for a heating and cooling contract in the police lab that opened in November 2013. The company was established by Gregory Sansone, who was chairman of the St. Louis County Police Board.

Concerns about potential favoritism prompted the resignation of Sansone and led former county Police Chief Tim Fitch to ask the FBI to investigate.

County Executive Charlie Dooley said he was pleased the matter was resolved but saddened that his and others' reputations were tarnished.

Dooley was soundly defeated by Councilman Steve Stenger in the August Democratic primary. Stenger narrowly won election in November and takes office in January.

Dooley said his office was not involved in awarding the contract. He was critical of the county's prosecuting attorney, Bob McCulloch, for his response to what Dooley called "bogus" allegations. McCulloch, also a Democrat, urged Dooley not to seek re-election after the allegations surfaced and threw his support behind Stenger.

"To have a sitting Prosecuting Attorney give credence to baseless allegations and use those allegations as a campaign attack was unprecedented and it certainly had an impact with voters; his actions bear investigation not mine," Dooley said in a statement.

A spokesman for McCulloch did not immediately return messages for comment. No phone listings could be found for Sansone or SM Mechanical.

Dooley was St. Louis County's first black county executive and has held the post for 11 years.

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