GOP leaders call for Chairman John Hancock's resignation
JEFFERSON CITY - Republican lawmakers called for the resignation of Missouri GOP Chairman John Hancock at a news conference held Thursday morning at the state Capitol.
Hancock is accused of making anti-Semitic marks and launching a whispering campaign against the late State Auditor Tom Schweich, who committed suicide Feb. 26 in his Clayton home.
Following the lawmaker's news conference, Hancock released a statement on the air of a St. Louis radio station.
"I informed Senator Danforth that I mistakenly had believed Tom was Jewish," he said, adding he cannot remember a "single instance" of relaying that to anyone in particular.
"I strongly denied having done so with any malicious intent, as such a thing is not consistent with my character," he said.
Hancock also said, after he talked to Danforth, "some of those close to Tom, including his Chief of Staff Trish Vincent, spread rumors that I was anti-Semitic, had made anti-Semitic comments, that affidavits had been prepared and that 'when the truth came out,' my career would be ruined."
Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, along with Sen. Mark Parson, R-Bolivar and Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington joined Rep. Bill White, R-Joplin and Jim Neely, R-Cameron in calling for Hancock's resignation.