MISSOURI (KFVS/AP) - 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 Ryan 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 said 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.
According to Missouri Representative Holly Rehder, the House Committee is still investigating the possible impeachment of Governor Greitens and will specifically look into the source of the 120k paid to attorney Al Watkins (attorney for ex of Greitens' mistress) among other issues.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney has placed a price tag on the cost of prosecuting two felony cases against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens: $65,000 so far.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Gardner offered the estimate Thursday during an aldermanic committee meeting. She was responding to a question from Alderman Joseph Vaccaro, who asked how much her office had "wasted" on the cases.
Gardner later told reporters she believed her office used its resources efficiently and effectively. She says all bills haven't been tallied but the final total won't reach $100,000.
Gardner on Wednesday announced her office was dismissing a computer data tampering charge against the Republican governor that alleged he used a charity donor list for political purposes.
Greitens also was indicted in February on invasion of privacy stemming from a 2015 extramarital affair. Gardner's office dropped the case during jury selection. A special prosecutor is deciding whether to refile it.
On Wednesday, May 30 Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner held a press conference on at 10:30 a.m. to announce the resolution of the felony tampering with a computer case against Eric Greitens.
Gardner said in the conference she plans to dismiss the felony tampering charge against Greitens.
Gov. Greitens announced his resignation at 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 29.
While he didn't say why he was resigning, Greitens said he came to office to fight for the people of Missouri.
"I love Missouri and I love our people," he said. "That love remains."
He said he was thankful for everyone who worked beside him and with him. He said he was proud of them and their work together.
"The last few months have been incredibly difficult for me, for my family, for my team, for my friends and for many, many people that I love," he said. "This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family. Millions of dollars in mounting legal bills, endless personal attacks designed to cause maximum damage to family and friends."
The governor said it was clear for "the forces that oppose us" that there was no end in sight. He said he had not broken any laws, nor committed any offense worthy of that treatment.
Greitens went on to say it had been an honor to serve as governor. He said he will always be a fighter for the people of Missouri.
As his voice broke, Greitens said the time had come to tend to those who had been wounded and "to care for those who need us most."
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said her office reached a "fair and just resolution" on criminal charges against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, now that he's stepping down. But, she said, details won't be released until Wednesday.
Gardner launched an investigation after Greitens admitted to a 2015 affair with his St. Louis hairdresser. The investigation led to a felony indictment in February on invasion of privacy, accusing Greitens of taking an unauthorized and compromising photo of the woman.
The charge was dropped earlier in May, but a special prosecutor was considering whether to refile it.
In April, Greitens was charged with another felony in St. Louis for allegedly using a charity donor list for political purposes.
Gardner said in the statement that the last several months have been difficult. She didn't say if one or both of the charges will be dropped.
A spokeswoman for Gardner declined to comment beyond the statement. Read it in full below:
Lt. Governor Mike Parson
Lt. Governor Mike Parson will be sworn in as governor on Friday, June 1 at 5 p.m. when Greitens' resignation goes into effect.
Parson spent Wednesday, May 30 preparing for Friday's transition.
Parson met with House Speaker Todd Richardson, Senate President Pro Tem Sen. Ron Richard, and legislators from both parties on Wednesday. He also reached out to all cabinet members. Parson is planning to hold a meeting with the cabinet early next week.
On Thursday, the incoming governor will receive a briefing from the Missouri Department of Public Safety's State Emergency Management Agency and finalize the details of the swearing-in ceremony.
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.
Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson is holding a prayer service and then a swearing-in ceremony to assume the governorship.
Parson will take over after current Gov. Eric Greitens resigns Friday amid allegations of sexual misconduct and campaign finance violations.
Both Greitens and Parson are Republicans, but the two ran separately and individually won races for their respective offices in 2016.
The prayer service at a Jefferson City Baptist church and swearing-in for Parson will be closed to the general public. Judge Mary Rhodes Russell will preside over Parson's swearing in.
Parson has cited time constraints for the initial private ceremony. Greitens announced his resignation just days before on Tuesday.
Parson has said he'll plan a public reception later.
Parson is a former state lawmaker, Polk County sheriff and cattle farmer from Bolivar. He said in a brief written statement that he is "ready to fulfill the duties of the office with honor and integrity."
Lt. Gov. Parson released the following statement on Tuesday, May 29:
According to the Associated Press, in February Missouri senators considered changing how the lieutenant governor's replacement was chosen.
On Wednesday, Feb. 8, senators debated a proposal to require the governor to call a special election to fill a vacancy in the lieutenant governor's office. No vote was taken.
The debate came after Greitens was indicted by a St. Louis grand jury on one felony count of invasion of privacy related to his 2015 extramarital affair. The House also has formed a committee to investigate.
Statements from lawmakers on Greitens' resignation
Republican Sen. Bob Dixon said the governor now can't appoint a replacement or call a special election to fill the lieutenant governor's seat if it becomes vacant. So if Parson leaves office to become governor, the lieutenant governor's seat would remain empty for the remainder of the term.
Former Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder talked to Heartland News exclusively about what's next for the office of the lieutenant governor.
Missouri Republican Party Chairman Todd Graves released this statement on Mike Parson:
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill said, "I wish Lt. Governor Parson the best. I look forward to working with him."
Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard released this statement:
Majority Floor Leader Sen. Mike Kehoe released this statement:
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt released the following statement:
Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt released the following statement:
State Auditor Nichole Galloway released this statement:
Attorney General Josh Hawley had this to say:
House Speaker Todd Richardson, Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr and Majority Flood Leader Rob Vescovo issued this joint statement:
Two Missouri Republicans in the U.S. House said Greitens made the right choice in stepping down from office.
Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer and Ann Wagner spoke out after he made his announcement.
Months of scandal prior to announcement
It has been months of scandal and legal trouble for Greitens.
On January 10, 2018, the governor delivered the State of the State Address. Just a couple of hours later, CBS affiliate in St. Louis KMOV reported the governor had committed an extramarital affair in 2015 before he was governor. The governor later admitted to the affair.
The next day, on Jan. 11, the St. Louis circuit attorney launched an investigation to determine if the governor committed crimes linked to that affair. In a recording, the woman at the center of the affair claimed Greitens took a partially nude photo of her and threatened to release it if she told anyone about the affair.
Greitens denied those allegations.
On Monday, Feb. 5, we learned that a grand jury had been convened to consider possible charges against the governor.
On Feb. 22, that charge was announced. It was an invasion of privacy charge. Immediately, state Democrats called for the governor to resign. He resisted those calls and released a statement declaring his innocence.
On April 17, the Missouri Attorney General announced his office found that Greitens' use of a charity donor list broke the law. Three days later the governor faced a second felony charge, this one being felony computer tampering.
On May 3, state lawmakers announced they had enough signatures to hold a special session to consider impeaching Governor Greitens. It was stated to begin on May 18, the same day the state legislative session ended.
The governor's trial on the invasion of privacy felony started on May 10. It didn't make it through jury selection before the charges were dropped by prosecutors on Monday, May 14. It happened when the Greitens' defense team made a motion to call the circuit attorney as a witness.
A special prosecutor was appointed to consider whether those charges should be refiled.
Since the special session convened on May 18, a Missouri House Committee sent Greitens a subpoena to testify in front of it.
Earlier on Tuesday, May 29, the Associated Press reported Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ruled a group that supports Greitens must turn over documents subpoenaed by a legislative committee trying to determine whether to bring impeachment proceedings against him.
An attorney for Greitens' campaign and the group, A New Missouri, argued that the subpoena was beyond the scope of the committee's investigation.