Government & Politics

Four months after controversial hire, top adviser no longer works for Gov. Greitens

In his time with Gov. Eric Greitens (above), Jimmy Soni worked on the governor’s transition team, helped craft the inaugural speech and state of the state address and served as a communications adviser in Greitens’ office.
In his time with Gov. Eric Greitens (above), Jimmy Soni worked on the governor’s transition team, helped craft the inaugural speech and state of the state address and served as a communications adviser in Greitens’ office.

Gov. Eric Greitens has parted ways with one of his top advisers.

Jimmy Soni, a former editor of The Huffington Post, is no longer employed by the governor’s office. His last day was April 30.

In his time with Greitens, Soni worked on the governor’s transition team, helped craft the inaugural speech and state of the state address and served as a communications adviser in Greitens’ office.

Soni could not be reached for comment. Greitens’ press secretary, Parker Briden, said Soni’s departure after less than four months was expected.

“The plan had always been for him to help us during the transition and the early days of governing, and then move on to prepare for his upcoming book launch in July and spend time with his young family,” Briden said. “He’s done great work for us as a staffer, adviser and speechwriter, and he will continue to be a friend and a help to the governor and our whole team.”

News of Soni’s hire had been publicly criticized by Democrats, who noted he’d resigned as managing editor of the liberal news website The Huffington Post in 2014 under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations.

Five of Soni’s former Huffington Post colleagues interviewed by The Star in December confirmed that he was being investigated by the publication’s corporate parent AOL for sexual harassment involving interns. It was that investigation, they said, that led to his resignation from the website.

Soni declined comment on the allegations at the time, but Greitens told the Springfield News-Leader he was not going to respond to “ridiculous allegations of desperate political opponents.”

In addition to his time at The Huffington Post and with Greitens, Soni was an editorial adviser to The New York Observer and former speechwriter for the mayor of Washington, D.C.

He was paid $11,000 in December by Greitens’ campaign. He’d earned more than $34,000 in salary from the state since Jan. 9.

Jason Hancock: 573-634-3565, @J_Hancock

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