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Missouri Senate approves Greitens’ ethics commission nominee

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has approved one of Gov. Eric Greitens’ nominees for the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Former Democratic state representative Wayne Henke was confirmed Thursday in a voice vote, giving the short-staffed ethics commission a quorum before its next meeting on April 25. Without a quorum the commission can’t act on complaints, including one pending against the governor.

The commission now has two Democrats, two Republicans and two remaining vacancies. Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, a Republican of Joplin, says he wants to wait to confirm Greitens’ other nominee, Republican Bill Birkes, until he has another Democratic nominee, in order to keep the commission balanced along party lines.

Before the full Senate voted, a Senate committee approved Henke’s nomination by a 10-0 vote.