Special Prosecutor chosen in Greitens case, circuit attorney gets recused

4 months 6 hours 6 minutes ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 5:00:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
By: Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Interactive Director

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office announced late Monday that a special prosecutor has been selected in Gov. Eric Greitens' invasion of privacy case.

Jean Peters Baker, the prosecuting attorney of Jackson County, agreed to the job, according to the CAO.

Kim Gardner, who had been prosecuting the charge, said Baker has proven she is "unafraid of tackling difficult cases."

Baker will be the one to decide whether to refile the invasion of privacy charges that were dropped suddenly last week, not long after the Greitens defense team got approval to call Gardner as a witness.

Jackson released a statement saying no elected official relishes investigating another official, but her office will be thorough in its review and its decisions made "without fear of favor."

Earlier Monday, Judge Rex Burlison granted Gardner's request to recuse herself from the invasion of privacy investigation.

At the same time, Burlison denied Greitens' request for a temporary stay of "certain grand jury proceedings," according to court documents published by KMOV.

Those documents show Burlison said he made the decisions "based on representations by the Circuit Attorney's Office that the evidence will be reviewed by a party independent of the CAO."

Prosecutors suddenly dropped the invasion of privacy charge last week, not long after Greitens' defense team said they would make Gardner a witness. The Circuit Attorney's Office said it would be seeking a special prosecutor.

Burlison said "once a special prosecutor is selected, the Circuit Attorney and the CAO are prohibited from any further involvement," according to the court documents published by KMOV.

The charge against Greitens stems from an accusation of blackmail from a woman he once had a relationship with. That woman said Greitens took a non-consensual picture of her partially nude and then threatened to use it against her if she went public.

Gardner said Monday she continues to believe in the credibility of the witness and that there is "ample cause" to re-issue the charge.

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