Indicted racketeer John “Johnny Roller” Rallo limited his public exposure Friday morning with the apparent aid of the feds.
John Rallo was quietly arraigned before federal magistrate Judge John M. Bodenhausen at 9:30 a.m. Friday without public notice. He pleaded not guilty.
The U.S. Attorney Attorney’s office had charged him a day earlier along with accomplice Sheila Sweeney on three counts of defrauding the public in a pay-to-play scheme. Sweeney is the former CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. She pleaded guilty in federal court Friday afternoon. Former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger pleaded guilty to the same charges last week.
Rallo was treated to a de facto private hearing with the apparent tacit approval of federal authorities. After his indictment was issued yesterday, he was scheduled to be arraigned on Friday, but the arraignment was not listed on the docket schedule in advance.
When reached Friday morning, the docket clerk at the federal courthouse had no listing on the docket for Rallo’s arraignment, he said. Calls to the Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith, the prosecutor in the case, and John P. Rogers, Rallo’s, defense attorney, were not returned.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the arraignment had been initially scheduled for noon Friday before federal magistrate Judge Noelle C. Collins, but had been bumped up to 9:30 a.m., and switched to the courtroom of magistrate John M. Bodenhausen.