Gov. Greitens' attorney tries to toss Confide case

4 months 1 week 6 days ago Saturday, April 07 2018 Apr 7, 2018 Saturday, April 07, 2018 4:31:00 AM CDT April 07, 2018 in News
By: Summer Balentine, Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An attorney for Gov. Eric Greitens on Friday argued a Cole County judge should toss out a lawsuit alleging governor's office staff violated the Sunshine law by using a message-deleting smartphone app.

At issue is a lawsuit over a December open-records request by a St. Louis attorney for records related to use of the Confide app by top staff in the Republican governor's office. The app automatically deletes messages after they are read and prevents recipients from saving, forwarding, printing or taking screenshots of messages. The feature sparked concern among some government-transparency advocates.

Greitens' attorney Bob Thompson on Friday argued that the governor's office complied with attorney Ben Sansone's records request to the extent it could. He said providing cellphone numbers of staff who downloaded the app raised safety concerns, and he said the nature of the Confide app means there was no record of messages.

Thompson told Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem that officials "can't produce what does not exist."

Thompson also said Sansone doesn't have standing to allege potential violations of records-retention laws. He said those concerns should go to the attorney general, prosecutors or other elected officials to enforce.

Fellow Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley's office launched an investigation into use of the app last year, but didn't find any evidence of wrongdoing.

Five governor's office staffers told the attorney general's office that they discussed government-related business using the app, according to the report. But the staffers said they only messaged about "logistics and scheduling," such as planning meetings.

The attorney general's office concluded that state law doesn't require those types of messages to be retained because they were "exclusively non-substantive."

Mark Pedroli, who represented Sansone, said no court has ever ruled against a private citizen suing over open-records-law violations, so it should be allowed. He said that was the intent behind the law.

Pedroli told the judge that governor's office staff "made a premeditated decision to destroy" documents, and in court filings he argued the office should have attempted to recover the messages from Confide.

Beetem did not indicate when he would decide whether to allow the case to move forward.

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police are investigating three separate homicides over a 12-hour span. KMBC-TV reports... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 7:42:00 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
DIGGINS (AP) — Authorities say storms have damaged trees, downed power lines and churned up at least one small tornado... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 7:27:00 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - City leaders will discuss Jefferson City’s 2019 FY budget at Monday’s city council meeting. The budget,... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 3:34:00 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Pink tags announcing a completed adoption hung from cages throughout the Central Missouri Humane Society this past weekend... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 2:50:00 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
SEDALIA- Two events were canceled on the last day of the Missouri State Fair due to rain. The ASCS... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 10:04:00 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Former CIA director John Brennan said Sunday that he was willing to pursue legal action against President Donald... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 9:23:19 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Federal investigators examining whether President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen committed bank and tax fraud are looking... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 8:01:59 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
Indiana ( WRTV ) -- Hundreds of students walked out of the Andy Gross show Saturday night at Purdue University... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 7:30:19 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — Students in one Southeast Missouri State University dorm who don't want to leave their dogs or... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 3:09:00 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
NORTH KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City-area school district that garnered national attention when a transgender student was crowned... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 2:47:00 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri officials hope to attract the nearly 700 well-paying USDA jobs that are... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 12:17:10 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for a St. Louis man charged with killing... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 11:50:00 AM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Parts of Missouri are so dry that corn crops are suffering and hay for cattle is... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 11:44:16 AM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — Officials say a worker injured near Sedalia in west-central Missouri has died. The Sedalia Democrat reports... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 9:01:36 AM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department is investigating a sex offense report on Saturday. According to a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 11:00:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - The Miller County Sheriff's Office reported that suspected shooter Devin Mckie is in custody after being arrested... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 10:36:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - More improvements to Columbia Regional Airport are on the horizon as two proposals sit on the agenda for... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 5:06:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE – About 100 people rode their bikes early Saturday to help raise funds for the 43rd annual Missouri River... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 2:23:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
10am 71°
11am 73°
12pm 75°
1pm 77°