A day after Greitens announced that he would step down, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said her office made a decision to dismiss a charge of computer data tampering following conversations with defense team for the governor, who was once a rising star in the Republican Party. A secretly recorded conversation between the woman he'd had an affair with and her then-husband revealed claims that Greitens had taken a compromising photo of her and was threatening to release it if she told anyone about their illicit relationship.
The Republican Governor announced his resignation Tuesday (5/29), blaming "legal harassment" for his troubles.
Prosecutors agreed to drop one of two felony criminal cases against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens after the governor's attorneys said he would resign if the allegations were dismissed, a spokeswoman for St. Louis' top prosecutor said Wednesday. The dropped charge was the result of a deal proposed Saturday by Greitens' defense attorneys offering his resignation in exchange, said Gardner spokeswoman Susan Ryan. "But I have not broken any laws or committed any offence worthy of this treatment", he said.
"Gov. Mike Parson possesses the integrity his predecessor lacked, and House Democrats will offer him whatever assistance we can as he begins the hard task of restoring credibility to state government", she said.
His departure elevates fellow Republican Lt. Gov. Mike Parson to the governor's office. "I haven't had a problem with calling on officials to resign in the past, but we need more information than a recording of a women confessing she had an affair". Greitens always had his eyes on higher public office, made painfully obvious by his overzealous dark-money fundraising and his reservation of a presidential campaign website well before he had won the gubernatorial election.
Attorney Catherine Hanaway represents both Greitens' campaign and A New Missouri. "I don't believe the market was treating the state's constitutional crisis surrounding the impeachment process as any sort of a credit risk".
Greitens could face other investigations.
Missouri Governor Eric Greitens appears in a police booking photo in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., February 22, 2018.
The Missouri Legislature began meeting in special session less than two weeks ago to consider impeachment. The second report focuses on allegations that Greitens wrongfully obtained a charity donor list to fundraise for political purposes.
The resignation ends a month long scandal that revealed detailed and tawdry sexual encounters between the governor and a woman with whom he was having an affair. Prosecutors say they have enough evidence to convict Greitens but that his conviction wouldn't be worth pursuing after his resignation. The woman said she initially thought "this is going to be some sort of sexy workout". She said he threatened and mistreated her.
"I came to office to fight for the people of Missouri, to fight for the forgotten", Greitens said. The 44-year-old former US Navy SEAL has denied any wrongdoing.
He didn't take any questions from reporters after his brief statement.