Government & Politics

St. Louis reaches ‘resolution’ with Greitens, but Baker’s investigation continues

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens walks past a group of supporters on Thursday, May 17, 2018, in Jefferson City, Mo.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens walks past a group of supporters on Thursday, May 17, 2018, in Jefferson City, Mo. AP

One of the pending criminal cases against Gov. Eric Greitens has been resolved, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office said within hours of his resignation announcement.

But a special investigation by Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker will continue.

A grand jury indicted Greitens in February with felony invasion of privacy following an investigation by Gardner’s office, but that case was dropped earlier this month after a judge agreed to let Greitens’ legal team question Gardner under oath about alleged perjury by a private investigator hired by her office.

Baker, who is in her second full term as Jackson County’s elected prosecutor, was appointed to serve as a special prosecutor last week and said in a statement Tuesday evening that the governor’s decision to step down would have no impact on her investigation.

“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,” Baker said in a statement.

“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.”

Greitens has faced allegations since January that he photographed a woman without her consent in 2015 to keep her from speaking about an extramarital affair. A Missouri House investigation uncovered additional allegations of sexual coercion and violence.

Greitens' office has admitted to the affair, but denied all allegations of criminal wrongdoing.

Baker’s office issued the statement shortly after Gardner’s office released a statement saying her office had “been in contact with the Governor’s defense team over the past several days” and has “reached a fair and just resolution of the pending charges.”

Gardner’s office charged Greitens with felony computer tampering in April.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks to reporters on the courthouse steps after the decision of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner to drop the case against him.

Gardner did not say whether the governor had agreed to a plea deal or whether the pending computer tampering charge would be dropped. Her statement said the office would reveal more details Wednesday.

Greitens' legal team also did not immediately comment on the statement.

Gardner, a former lawmaker, has faced intense scrutiny during her prosecution of the state’s highest officer and was repeatedly attacked by Greitens’ political and legal teams.

“The last several months have been difficult for all Missourians, not just those of us embroiled in these legal matters," Gardner said. “... As a prosecutor, my decisions must be based upon facts and evidence, regardless of the position or power of the accused. While that may have been unpopular at times, that’s my job.”

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens on May 29 announced his resignation just as abruptly as he had arrived on Missouri's political scene, his career buried under an avalanche of scandal and felony charges.

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