Well, it’s a wrap for FORMER Missouri Governor Eric Greitens. He just announced his resignation:
The announcement was made just hours after a judge says a secretive group supporting Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens must turn over documents subpoenaed by a legislative committee trying to determine whether to bring impeachment proceedings against the Republican governor.
The 44-year-old Greitens made the announcement nearly 17 months after taking the oath as Missouri’s chief executive with a pledge to root out “corrupt career politicians.” The investigations of him widened to include questions about whether he had violated the law in financing the campaign.
Greitens said his resignation would take effect Friday.
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A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens on Feb. 22 on one felony count of invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a photo of a woman with whom he had a affair at his home he shares with his wife and two young sons without her consent in 2015, before he was elected governor. The charge was dismissed during jury selection, but a special prosecutor was considering whether to refile charges. In April, the St. Louis prosecutor’s office charged Greitens with another felony, alleging that he improperly used the donor list for a charity that he’d founded, The Mission Continues to raise money for his 2016 campaign.
Greitens claims to be the victim of a “political witch hunt.”
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley also launched an inquiry into a veterans charity Greitens founded. Federal law bars 501 charities such as The Mission Continues from intervening in political campaigns on behalf of candidates.
The Associated Press first reported in October 2016 that Greitens’ campaign had obtained a list of individuals, corporations and other nonprofits that had given at least $1,000 to The Mission Continues. The AP reported that Greitens raised about $2 million from those who had previously given significant amounts to the charity.
Hawley, a Republican running for U.S. Senate, turned evidence over to Gardner, saying April 17 that he believed Greitens had broken the law. Her office charged him with tampering with computer data for allegedly disclosing the donor list without the charity’s permission.
A May 2 report from a special House investigatory committee indicated that Greitens himself received the donor list and later directed aides to work off it to raise money for his gubernatorial campaign. A former campaign aide testified that he was duped into taking the fall when the campaign tried to explain how it had gotten the list.
His departure elevates fellow Republican Lt. Gov. Mike Parson to the governor’s office:
Now that Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has announced his resignation, he will be succeeded by Lt. Gov. Mike Parson.
Parson, a Republican, was elected Lt. Governor in 2016. He previously held several elected offices, including state senator from the 28th district from 2011-2017.
Parson was previously a state representative and the Polk County Sheriff. He is a farmer who lives in Bolivar in southwest Missouri.
The last Missouri Lt. Gov. to succeed a governor without being elected to the higher office was Roger Wilson, who served the last few months of Mel Carnahan’s term in 2000 after Carnahan was killed in plane crash.
Moments after Greitens’ announcement, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, though a spokesperson said they have a reached a “fair and just resolution of the pending charges.” This pertains to the Computer Tampering allegation.
Miss Gardens also stated, “I have been in contact with the Governor’s defense team over the past several days. We have reached a fair and just resolution of the pending charges. We will provide more information tomorrow.”
The statement went on to say more will be announced Wednesday. Greitens is not out of trouble just because he stepped down. I will update this story as it develops.