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Mo. politician pays steep price in scandal

Aug. 31, 2009 at 4:28 PM   |   Comments

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Missouri Democratic state Rep. Steve Brown, who helped the FBI bring down a former protege, has paid a steep price, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Monday.

The newspaper, in recounting Brown's short legislative career in Jefferson City, said his fall from grace came because he was caught up in helping his one-time political protege, the rising political star Sen. Jeff Smith, try to mislead a Federal Elections Commission inquiry into a smear campaign against Smith's 2004 congressional primary opponent.

The newspaper said Brown, 42, came from a wealthy family but won his state House seat last year only after years of serving political apprenticeships with former U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., and losing a close legislative primary race in 2002.

"Steve worked very hard," opponent Sam Page said. "He was very visible in the district. He knocked on a lot of doors."

Now Brown is facing prison time after pleading guilty last week to one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. The Post-Dispatch said the FBI recruited Brown to wear a wire when meeting in 2006 with his close friend Smith, whom he had helped in an unsuccessful bid to defeat U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-Mo.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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