The Missouri Ethics Commission questioned a former consultant for Republican gubernatorial nominee Eric Greitens as part of its investigation into whether Greitens illegally used a donor list from a nonprofit he founded to solicit money for his campaign, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
The news comes just days before voters go to the polls to choose between Greitens and Democrat Chris Koster as the state’s next governor. Recent polls show the race tightening to a dead heat.
Michael Hafner, who worked for Greitens’ gubernatorial exploratory committee last year before being let go, appeared at the Missouri Ethics Commission office in Jefferson City Thursday in response to a subpoena for his testimony and records.
Last month, the Associated Press reported that it acquired a spreadsheet of donors to The Mission Continues, a veterans charity Greitens founded in 2007.
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Hafner allegedly had access to the spreadsheet, leading to allegations that Greitens used the donor list to help raise money to get his gubernatorial bid off the ground. After leaving the Greitens campaign, Hafner went to work for one of his rivals in the GOP gubernatorial primary, John Brunner.
The state ethics commission is looking into the matter after a complaint was filed by Roy Temple, chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, who contends Greitens violated state law by failing to disclose he used the donor list.
Greitens is also facing continued scrutiny over his refusal to release his tax returns.
On Tuesday, The Star used publicly available records to piece together some of Greitens’ financial dealings in the years leading up to his run for governor, including his salary at The Mission Continues, a six-figure book deal, five-figure speaking fees and a salary as a part-time professor at the University of Missouri.
Democrats have criticized Greitens’ salary at The Mission Continues, saying that money could have been used to help veterans.
During a campaign stop in near Kansas City Thursday, KMBC’s Michael Mahoney couldn’t get an answer from Greitens on that Democratic criticism. But another co-founder of the nonprofit told Mahoney the board of directors set the salary, not Greitens.