As Parsons becomes top Missouri official, Greitens pardon become - KCTV5 News

As Parsons becomes top Missouri official, Greitens pardon becomes possible

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Parson will have a lot more power once he gets the title of governor. And with that comes the power of pardoning. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File) Parson will have a lot more power once he gets the title of governor. And with that comes the power of pardoning. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The transition of power in the state of Missouri begins Friday.

As Lt. Governor Mike Parsons prepares to become the state's 57th governor, there are a lot of decisions he will have to make.

Normally an incoming governor gets eight weeks to plan his transition. Parson will get two days.

Parson will have a lot more power once he gets the title of governor. And with that comes the power of pardoning.

Currently, Parson has said he plans to make his transition as smooth as possible. But, the question remains, could he use his pardon power to make all of Governor Eric Greitens’ problems go away?

Criminal defense lawyer David Langston says he could but it would be a very unpopular move.

“Let people know Missouri for the Show-Me State, know Missouri for the Cardinals, the Royals, the Chiefs, things that are positive and good, and not be known as the state the governor was chased out because of his sex scandal,” Langston said.

Langston says Parson’s background could be the change Missouri needs.

Parson, 62, spent more than a decade as a legislator representing southwest Missouri, experience that will likely give him a better working relationship with lawmakers than Greitens, 44, who was a political novice when elected governor in 2016.

Elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2004, Parson served two tours in the Military Police, in Germany and Hawaii, for the U.S. Army. He later spent 12 years as Polk County sheriff. He spent another dozen years serving in the Missouri Legislature, where he strongly opposed abortion and supported the National Rifle Association. He was elected lieutenant governor in 2016. He is also is a third-generation farmer who successfully sought an amendment to the Missouri Constitution designed to protect farmers from having to modify their practices to satisfy the concerns of animal-rights groups. Voters narrowly approved the amendment in 2014, amid strong opposition from the Humane Society of the United States and questions about whether it protected out-of-state farm owners.

Langston says having someone like Greitens, who came from the private sector, was refreshing but ultimately hurt the state. He says Parson's experience will create a stability the state lost months ago.

“The last three months in Missouri has weakened the ability to move the agenda forward for Missourians. So, now we'll be able to do that,” Langston said. “I think Lt. Gov (Parsons) will do a good job of that. I think he knows how to work with the legislature I think he'll know how to move things forward on things that are important to Missourians." 

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