Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens resigns amid swirling investigations - KCTV5 News

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens resigns amid swirling investigations

Posted: Updated:
After just over a year on the job, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens announced that he will resign the office. After just over a year on the job, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens announced that he will resign the office.
JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KCTV) -

After just over a year on the job, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens announced that he will resign the office. 

Greitens resigns amid a sexual misconduct scandal and allegations of misusing a charity list. 

“This is not the end of our fight," Greitens said. "I will always be a fighter for the people of Missouri. The time has come thought to tend to those who have been wounded.”

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said the resignation will not change the course of the investigation:

In an earlier statement, I said that my office will not comment about the case involving Governor Greitens or its review until our Office’s work had been completed. Given today’s events, however, we believe that a brief statement is needed.

In short, our investigation continues. In the interest of pursing justice to its fullest lengths, we will continue until our work on the case is completed.

Specifically regarding any deals we made with Governor Greitens’ attorneys, no deals were made by my office. Our review of this case, as I have stated before, will be pursued without fear or favor.

My office will not make any further comments on this case.

During the announcement, Greitens again said that he did not break any laws. 

"This ordeal is designed to cause maximum damage to family and friends," Greitens said. "I can't allow those forces to cause pain and difficulty to the people that I love."

Several elected officials from both sides of the aisle had called for Greitens to resign. 

Before the announcement, multiple sources confirmed to KCTV5 News the governor would step down.

Greitens was elected governor in 2016, defeating Democrat Chris Koster 51-46 percent. 

Greitens said his resignation would take effect Friday.

A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens on Feb. 22 on one felony count of invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a photo of the woman without her consent at his home 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 local 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 to raise money for his 2016 campaign.

A deal has been cut in St. Louis regarding the tampering charges. Information about the deal will be released on Wednesday. Sources close to the governor say the prosecutor will dismiss the charge.

Less than two weeks ago, the Missouri Legislature began meeting in special session to consider whether to pursue impeachment proceedings to try to oust Greitens from office.

A special House investigatory committee had subpoenaed Greitens to testify next Monday.

Greitens' brashness alienated some GOP legislators even before his affair became public in January.

The woman's then-husband released a secretly recorded conversation in which she described the alleged incident. The woman later told a Missouri House investigative committee that Greitens restrained, slapped, shoved and threatened her during a series of sexual encounters that at times left her crying and afraid.

Greitens said the allegations amounted to a "political witch hunt," and vowed to stay in office. But the report's release created a firestorm, with both Republicans and Democrats calling for his resignation.

Leaders in Missouri react to announced resignation 

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who called for Greitens to resign on multiple occasions, said he did the right thing on Tuesday. 

“Governor Greitens has done the right thing today,” Hawley said. “I wish incoming Governor Mike Parson well, and stand ready to assist him in his transition. This Office’s work for the people of Missouri goes forward.”

Missouri Speaker of the House Todd Richardson, in a joint statement with Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr and Majority Leader Rob Vescovo,  said the governor's decision was best for the state. 

“We believe the Governor has put the best interest of Missourians first today by choosing to resign. The past few months have been difficult for everyone involved, including the Governor and his family. This is a serious and solemn occasion that reminds us that our state and our duty are bigger than any one person or party.

The House stands ready to help ensure a smooth transition of power to Governor Parson. The hallmark of democracy is that our public service is temporary. Missouri has been blessed with an unbroken line of men and women in public service who have worked to make our state better, and the work of the many dedicated public servants, who work tirelessly for the people of Missouri, will continue.

The responsibility the House undertook with its investigation is not a path any of us would have chosen, but it is one we were obligated to pursue in an effort to do what is best for our state. We want to thank the members of the Special Investigative Committee on Oversight for the serious and professional manner in which they went about their task. We also want to thank the staff for the countless hours and sacrifices they made.

As public servants, our solemn duty is to put the best interests of the people of this great state first in every decision we make. The Governor’s decision today honors that duty and allows Missouri to move forward toward a better tomorrow.”

Missouri Senate Democratic Leader Gina Walsh released this statement: 

“Innocent people don’t resign and criminals don’t get let off the hook simply because they cut and run. Missourians deserve to know what laws were broken, what lies were told, and how deep the corruption went." 

House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty:

“The brief and deeply troubled term of Eric Greitens is a case study for why Missouri's highest elected office is no place for beginners. Gov. Mike Parson possesses the integrity his predecessor lacked, and House Democrats will offer him whatever assistance we can as he begins the difficult task of restoring credibility to state government.”

Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt said it's time for Missouri to come together: 

“Now is the time for the people of Missouri to come together and work toward a better future for our state. My focus is on helping to ensure a smooth transition of power so that state government can continue to serve Missourians without interruption. To that end, my office will be actively working with partners across state agencies and departments to help facilitate the transition process.”

Parson to take over governorship

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Michael L. Parson will step into the job should Greitens announce his resignation. 

He served in the Missouri Senate from 2011-2017 and the Missouri House of Representatives from 2005-2011. 

Before entering the legislature, Parson served as the Sheriff of Polk County from 1993-2005 and is a six-year veteran from the U.S. Army.

Since Greitens' resignation isn’t effective until Friday, the governor still has a lot of power over more than 100 pending pieces of legislation.

“The governor will have them Friday which means he can sign them, veto them or leave them alone that will be his choice,” Missouri Representative Jean Evans ( R-S. Louis County) said.

But even if the governor does veto legislation on his way out, lawmakers could override the veto in fall. 

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.