Potential criminal charges in Greitens investigation are questionable

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ST. LOUIS - How can the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office investigate Missouri Governor Eric Greitens' affair?

When Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner launched the investigation, Fox 2/KPLR 11 learned from police that no one had contacted the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to look into it. Our news department also learned officers were not investigating the matter.

Kim Gardner would not agree to a sit-down interview, but her spokesperson said the office has investigated past cases without police involvement. She named former St. Louis Alderwoman Kacie Starr Triplett, saying the office negotiated an agreement for Triplett to repay thousands of dollars in misspent campaign funds, payable to St. Louis schools.

But the office won’t answer what possible charges it will investigate regarding Governor Greitens. On a secret audio-recording, an ex-husband of the woman involved with the governor used the word "blackmail," but legal experts said there's no Missouri statute for blackmail. On the tape, the woman said the governor took a picture while she was blindfolded and later deleted the picture. Legal experts have said that could be considered an invasion of privacy, but that the statute of limitations on that charge has run out.

Right now, the only evidence to investigate is an audio tape. The spokesperson for the Circuit Attorney’s Office acknowledged the audio alone is not enough. This adds a potentially huge workload to an already strained office, that’s investigating dozens of police officer-involved shootings.

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office issued the following statement Friday afternoon:

The Circuit Attorney is an independent administrator of justice. The primary responsibility of a prosecutor is to seek justice on behalf of the people of the City of St. Louis.

The Circuit Attorney’s Office is in the early stages of investigating recent allegations against Missouri Governor Eric Greitens. The office has a history of using its investigative authority to initiate investigations into matters that are in the best interest of the public. The current investigation will be carried out in an objective manner as all matters are investigated. It will seek the truth, wherever it may lead, and determine if the alleged conduct warrants criminal prosecution under Missouri law.

The alleged acts occurred in the City of St. Louis, which fall under the jurisdiction of the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office. The public can be assured that we will perform a thorough and professional investigation on behalf of the people of St. Louis.

Given that the events in question are now a part of an ongoing investigation, we cannot discuss any further details of our inquiry.

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