Next governor will take oath in private ceremony
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson says he’s planning a private swearing-in ceremony to take over after Gov. Eric Greitens resigns.
Greitens is resigning Friday instead of continuing to fight a criminal charge and potential impeachment proceedings over alleged sexual misconduct and campaign finance violations.
Parson will take his place as governor. Both are Republicans who won separate races for their respective offices in 2016.
Parson says he’s planning a private ceremony Friday because of time constraints. He said he’ll plan a public event later.
Parson says he’ll be working for the rest of the week and weekend on his transition to the state’s top executive. He says he’ll have discussions later about how the open lieutenant governor’s seat should be handled.
A former Missouri Supreme Court chief justice says a prosecutor’s agreement to drop a criminal case against Gov. Eric Greitens following his resignation is “a good result for him.”
Michael Wolff said Wednesday that it’s possible that Greitens supporters were counting Missouri House votes on his impeachment and concluded he couldn’t avoid it. Greitens plans to step down Friday.
Wolff also is a retired Saint Louis University law school dean. He said Greitens will leave office admitting to “doing nothing” and it’s possible that in six months that he will say a “liberal cabal” pushed him out.
Wolff also said it’s “surprising” that the agreement would protect the prosecutor and her staff from being sued over their actions.
He said, “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that.”
A former federal prosecutor says that an agreement to drop a criminal case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens when he resigned is a “fair resolution” to the case.
Jean Paul Bradshaw II said Wednesday that the St. Louis city prosecutor’s office accomplished the “greatest public benefit” it could with Greitens’ departure from office. Bradshaw is a Kansas City attorney who served as U.S. attorney for western Missouri in 1989-93.
Greitens plans to step down Friday. Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner agreed to drop a felony charge of computer data tampering. The charge accused Greitens of improperly using a donor list for a charity he founded for his 2016 campaign.
Bradshaw said Greitens’ resignation makes the agreement to drop the case appropriate because the state can “get back to doing business.”
A St. Louis judge has agreed to dismiss a felony computer data tampering case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.
Circuit Judge Rex Burlison on Wednesday approved an agreement reached by Greitens’ attorneys and the St. Louis circuit attorney’s office. Greitens announced his resignation on Tuesday. It is effective 5 p.m. Friday.
The dismissal agreement has seven stipulations, two of which are sealed and unavailable to the public. One of the open stipulations states that Greitens has agreed to release Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and everyone in her office from civil liability.
Greitens also was indicted in February on invasion of privacy stemming from an alleged affair with his St. Louis hairdresser in 2015. The charge was dropped earlier this month. A special prosecutor is deciding whether to refile that case.
A county judge ordered attorneys to preserve data from phones targeted in an investigation into a text-deleting phone app used by Gov. Eric Greitens and some of his staff.
Circuit Judge Jon Beetem on Wednesday ordered Robert Thompson, who is representing Greitens’ office, to compile a list of those who used the Confide app, along with the telephone numbers they used.
Attorney Mark Pedroli filed a lawsuit contending Greitens and his top staff violated the state’s open records laws by using the app.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Beetem’s ordered Pedroli and Thompson to present draft lists of the data on the phones by the end of the day.
Thompson had filed a motion seeking time to confer with Lt. Gov. Mike Parson about whether to continue to defend the case after Parson becomes governor Friday.
This story corrects the spelling of Greitens in one reference.
A spokeswoman for St. Louis’ top prosecutor says the office agreed to drop a computer tampering charge against Gov. Eric Greitens after his attorneys suggested he would resign if the case was dismissed.
Susan Ryan, a spokeswoman for Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, told The Associated Press that defense attorneys approached the office and Gardner agreed to their proposal.
Defense attorney Jim Martin acknowledged reaching out to Gardner to resolve the issue but added, “I don’t think that’s exactly the full play.” He didn’t elaborate.
Martin says he expects a felony invasion of privacy charge against Greitens will be resolved soon as well. A special prosecutor is weighing whether to refile that charge.
This item corrects that Gardner agreed to the defense proposal.
Defense attorney Jim Martin says he’s happy “we’ve eliminated the issue” of the computer tampering charge against departing Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced Wednesday that she’s dropping that charge against Greitens. A special prosecutor is considering whether to refile an invasion of privacy charge against him. Martin says he thinks “we’ll resolve that soon” but would not elaborate.
Martin says “it’s now time to leave the governor alone and let him and his family heal.”
St. Louis’ top prosecutor is pushing back against Gov. Eric Greitens’ past statements that the charges she initially filed against him were part of a coordinated “witch hunt.”
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced Wednesday that she’s dropping the computer tampering charge against Greitens, who is resigning on Friday. A special prosecutor is weighing whether to refile another criminal charge against him.
Gardner says she made the agreement to dismiss the computer charge after conversations with Greitens’ attorneys. She says there was enough evidence to bring the charge but that if he were convicted, it’s unlikely Greitens would have served any jail time due to his status as a first-time offender.
As for Greitens allegations of a witch hunt, Gardner said she rejects his “shameful personal attacks” and “dangerous and false rhetoric about the criminal justice system and the rule of law.”
Missouri’s top legislative leaders are meeting with Lt. Gov. Mike Parson to plan the transition in power when Gov. Eric Greitens resigns.
Parson met Wednesday with House Speaker Todd Richardson, Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe.
The lawmakers said they have invited Parson to deliver a speech to a joint session of the Legislature in the coming weeks.
Greitens announced Tuesday that he was resigning Friday instead of continuing to fight a criminal charge and potential impeachment proceedings over alleged sexual misconduct and campaign finance violations.
Among those meeting, Wednesday with Parson was Sarah Steelman, Greitens’ administration commissioner. Parson also was receiving enhanced security that is supplied to incoming governors.
The prosecutor’s office in St. Louis will drop a felony charge of computer data tampering against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, now that the Republican governor has announced his resignation.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced the decision Wednesday, a day after Greitens’ surprise announcement that he would step down effective Friday afternoon.
The charge, filed in April following an investigation by the Missouri attorney general’s office, accused Greitens of using a donor list from the veterans charity he founded, The Mission Continues, for his 2016 gubernatorial campaign.
Greitens also was indicted on felony invasion of privacy in February in St. Louis, stemming from an extramarital affair in 2015. The case was dismissed earlier this month and a special prosecutor in Jackson County is still considering whether to refile the charge.
This story has been corrected to reflect the charity’s name as The Mission Continues.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is planning to explain the resolution of criminal charges against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.
Gardner’s news conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
She said Tuesday that her office has reached a “fair and just resolution” on charges of tampering with a computer against Greitens.
Greitens announced the same day that he is resigning as governor, effective Friday.
A felony indictment in February accused Greitens of taking an unauthorized and compromising photo of a St. Louis woman during an extramarital affair in 2015.
The charge was dropped earlier this month, but Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker was appointed special prosecutor to consider whether to refile it.
Baker said in a statement that the investigation is ongoing.
On a dreary overcast day, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens stood in a light rain near the Governor’s Mansion and recounted his grueling training as a Navy SEAL officer to suggest he would never quit fighting allegations of sexual misconduct and campaign finance violations.
Less than two weeks later, Greitens announced Tuesday that he is quitting with his mission incomplete.
Greitens’ departure will become official at 5 p.m. Friday _ marking a stunning political defeat for the 44-year-old, self-made warrior-philosopher who had aspirations of someday becoming president.
For those fellow Republicans who had strenuously urged his resignation, Greitens’ exit provides the divided party a chance to reunify at the start of a summer campaign season in which it’s seeking to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.