State Officials React to Wilson Indictment
JEFFERSON CITY - Officials from both parties said Thursday they were disappointed by the news of former governor Roger B. Wilson's indictment on a misappropriation charge.
Rep. Stephen Webber, D-Columbia, called the indictment "sad."
"Roger's meant a lot to this community," Webber said. "He's an example of what public service should be."
Webber said he thinks Wilson is a good person and won't let the indictment overshadow his view of Wilson's decades of public service.
Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, a Republican, said he was also saddened by the story.
"Roger always had a smile and a kind word, and that won him a lot of friends," Kinder said, adding he thought Wilson was "put up" to the campaign contribution.
The Missouri Democratic Party, which Wilson chaired for three years, released a statement saying, "These are serious charges, but all we know about this situation is what we're reading in the papers."
According to the U.S. Attorney's office in St. Louis, which is prosecuting the case, Wilson is charged with misappropriating $5,000 from Missouri Employers' Mutual to reimburse a St. Louis law firm's donation to the Democratic Party. The firm, Herzog Crebs, hid the cost in its legal bills, and Wilson knowingly approved the payment, according to the indictment.
U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan said Wilson would most likely face a penalty ranging from probation to six months in prison if he is convicted. He said the next step is for Wilson and his lawyer to appear before a federal judge for a formal arraignment, which he said will happen "within the next couple working days," depending on Wilson's and the judge's schedules.