St. Louis prosecutors seek to disqualify Greitens attorneys

1 month 3 weeks 6 days ago Saturday, March 24 2018 Mar 24, 2018 Saturday, March 24, 2018 10:45:00 AM CDT March 24, 2018 in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — St. Louis’ top prosecutor on Friday asked a judge to disqualify the law firm representing Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens in his criminal case.

In a court filing, Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said the St. Louis-based Dowd Bennett law firm simultaneously worked both for and against the state in representing the Republican governor in a civil case as well as his criminal case.

Greitens was indicted by a St. Louis grand jury last month on felony invasion of privacy. He is accused of taking a compromising photo of a woman with whom he was having an affair in 2015, without her permission. Greitens has admitted to the affair but denied criminal wrongdoing.

Separately, a lawsuit filed in December claimed Greitens’ use of the message-destroying phone app Confide violated the state’s open records laws.

Dowd Bennett represented Greitens in both cases until withdrawing from the Confide case earlier this month, after Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley issued a report finding use of the app did not violate the law. The firm did not charge Greitens for work in the Confide case.

“For over two months, Dowd and Bennett knowingly engaged in a concurrent conflict of interest,” Gardner wrote.

Defense attorney Edward L. Dowd said Gardner’s filing “shows a certain level of desperation.”

Dowd said his office consulted with the Missouri attorney general’s office on Jan. 11.

“This was resolved by satisfying the Attorney General that the state would not be billed additional amounts based on the two matters,” Dowd said in a statement.

The court filing also said the Confide app “is at the center of both matters.” Gardner wrote that Greitens’ use of “Confide, Signal and/or other similar applications to engage in criminal behavior is alleged” in the indictment. A review of the indictment by an AP reporter found a reference to transmission of the photo but that it does not specifically mention Confide. Signal is another app that encrypts messages.

Separately, Hawley said his office has asked for information from 15 sources as part of an investigation into a charity founded by Greitens.

Hawley said civil investigative demands, which under Missouri law operate as an administrative subpoena, went to the charity, The Mission Continues, as well as Greitens’ campaign and the Greitens Group. The office also issued civil investigative demands to staffers or former staffers at those entities, but Hawley wouldn’t say specifically who.

“Suffice it to say that this is a very active investigation and it is progressing by the day,” Hawley — a Republican who is challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in a race with national implications — told reporters in his Jefferson City office.

Hawley announced the inquiry into the veterans charity earlier this month after The Associated Press reported that Greitens had used a Mission Continues email to send meeting invitations to political consultants as he was preparing to run for office in 2015.

Greitens, who was on the board of directors of The Mission Continues at the time, sent meeting invitations from the charity’s email address to three political consultants, according to records obtained by AP.

Federal tax law prohibits 501(c)(3) charities such as The Mission Continues from participating in any political campaign on behalf of a candidate for public office, with penalties ranging up to the loss of their tax-exempt status. The legal consequences for individual charity directors are less clear.

The St. Louis circuit attorney’s office also is investigating The Mission Continues, spokeswoman Susan Ryan said. She declined to discuss the investigation but said it is focused on potential criminal matters while the attorney general’s investigation is focused on civil issues.

“We are not investigating the same thing but we are making sure that we don’t get in each other’s way,” Ryan said.

On top of that, the Republican-led Missouri House launched an investigation of Greitens to look into allegations against him.

Democrats have repeatedly criticized Hawley’s Confide review, specifically citing the decision not to press for an interview with Greitens himself.

Missouri law does not give the attorney general subpoena power to investigate possible violations of the state’s Sunshine law. Hawley said he would reopen the review if legislators pass a bill to give his office the authority to issue subpoenas in those cases.

More News

Grid
List
MARSHALL - A standoff between Marshall police and an armed man ended without injury. According to a news release,... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 9:53:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
ROCHEPORT - The city of Rocheport honored two men on Sunday whose legacy has stretched across the state of Missouri.... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 7:09:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Gov. Eric Greitens spoke at the 16th annual Fire Fighters Memorial Service on Sunday. The service was... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 4:05:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is taking to social media to spread awareness of National Safe Boating Week... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 3:36:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
FULTON - All 6-year-old Sam Santhuff wanted to do was comfort children in the hospital, even though he was there... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 6:47:00 AM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has released the identities of the three people killed and the two... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 6:42:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Children in Columbia have a chance to get paid to play. Columbia Parks and Recreation started its... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 6:10:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
HAVANA (AP) — The Latest on the crash in Cuba of a passenger jet with 113 people on board (all... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 5:23:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Over 90 people showed up at the Burr Oak Brewery for an afternoon of puppies, yoga and beer... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 4:50:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Although it is nowhere near Halloween, some Columbia runners faced their fears by participating in a zombie-themed 5K... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 11:12:00 AM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The city of Columbia has been ranked a top-ten affordable college town to live in by realtor.com. Factors... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 10:41:00 AM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Mississippi River is above flood stage at several northeast Missouri locations, but forecasters do... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 9:29:44 AM CDT May 19, 2018 in Continuous News
(CNN) -- And they're married! Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle were wed Saturday at Windsor... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 7:09:00 AM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The United states is experiencing one of the lowest birth rates in 30 years, according to the Centers for... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 9:08:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Attorney General Josh Hawley says attorneys helping Gov. Eric Greitens through impeachment proceedings are acting improperly. "By... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 8:34:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The annual Backyard Concert Series kicks off Saturday evening at the Jefferson Landing Historic site. Missouri... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 6:45:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY –Missourians will soon be able to keep a little more money from their paychecks, after a state House... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 6:33:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
MADISON (AP) — A Columbia man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for a shooting death... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 4:40:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 66°
1am 66°
2am 66°
3am 67°
4am 67°