Kansas City

St. Louis circuit attorney launches investigation into Gov. Greitens following affair, blackmail allegations

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — A St. Louis circuit attorney has launched an investigation to determine if Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens committed crimes linked to an affair.

Kimberly M. Gardner, the circuit attorney for the city of St. Louis, said Thursday, saying she will investigate allegations that Greitens blackmailed a woman he had an affair with in 2015.

Gardner released the following statement:

“The serious allegations against Missouri Governor Eric Greitens are very troubling. After further consideration, I have deicded to launch a formal investigation into the alleged actions of Governor Greitens.

“It is essential for residents of the City of St. Louis and our state to have confiendence from leaders. They must know that the Office of the Circuit Attorney will hold public officials accountable in the same manner as any other resident of our city. Both parties and the people of St. Louis deserve a thorough investigation of these allegations.

“If anyone has any information related to this matter, I encourage them to contact my office immediately.”

Greitens  acknowledged Wednesday night that he’s been “unfaithful” in his marriage but denied allegations that he blackmailed the woman to stay quiet. On Thursday, some groups and individuals began calling for Greitens’ resignation.

The Republican governor and his wife released a statement late Wednesday after the St. Louis television station KMOV reported he had a sexual relationship with his former hairdresser in 2015.

The station’s report, released after Greitens gave his State of the State address, said the woman’s ex-husband alleged Greitens photographed her nude and threatened to publicize the images if she spoke about the affair. Greitens’ attorney denied these allegations.

“The governor denies that the picture was taken and denies stating the words attributed to him by her on the recording,” Greitens’ attorney Jim Bennett said in a statement Thursday.

Bennett said allegations of violence are false, and the relationship was consensual.

“This was a consensual relationship that lasted multiple months and was years ago before Eric was elected Governor,” Bennett said.

Greitens’ attorney said Thursday that they believe the report was the result of a “political hit piece.”

“The latest reporting has finally disclosed that the reporting was being driven by a ‘source’ who is the former Democrat state party chairman and who apparently has not spoken to the person in question,” Bennett said. “This goes a long way to explaining what is going on. It’s become clear this is a political hit piece. This is and remains an almost three-year-old private matter with no matter of public interest at stake.”

After the report of the affair was published, several groups and individuals began calling for Greitens to resign.

But Bennett said the governor will not resign.

“The governor is not resigning and his plans are to continue to serve the people of Missouri,” Bennett said Thursday.

When asked if the Attorney General’s Office would open a probe into the allegations, AGO Deputy Chief of Staff Loree Anne Paradise released the following statement:

“Under Missouri law, jurisdiction over alleged criminal conduct of this nature rests with the Prosecuting Attorney in the place where the conduct occurred. If the Prosecuting Attorney has a legal conflict or lacks the resources to pursue an investigation, he or she may seek assistance from the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the Attorney General’s Office.”

from FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports http://fox4kc.com/2018/01/11/st-louis-circuit-attorney-launches-investigation-into-gov-greitens-following-affair-blackmail-allegations/

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