Eric Schmitt sworn in as Missouri attorney general

2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago Thursday, January 03 2019 Jan 3, 2019 Thursday, January 03, 2019 12:46:00 PM CST January 03, 2019 in News
By: Jacob Cavaiani, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Republican Eric Schmitt was sworn-in as Missouri's 43rd attorney general Thursday.

Republican Gov. Mike Parson appointed Schmitt, who previously served as state treasurer, after the state's former attorney general, Josh Hawley, was elected to the U.S. Senate in November. Hawley, also a Republican, was sworn into office in Washington on Thursday.

During his swearing-in address, Schmitt said he will work to protect Missorians.

"No family should be concerned at all about heading downtown to watch a ballgame in downtown St. Louis," he said. "No child in Chillicothe should lose her dad to the opioid epidemic."

Schmitt said he has been focused on recruiting people to work in his office.

"This is going to be an office where we value professionalism, and we're going to treat everybody fairly," he said. "So that'll be the hallmark." 

In November, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported a top aide to Schmitt used the Confide app, which deletes messages after they are opened.

Schmitt said he doesn't want his employees to use the app.

"No one will use Confide on official phones, and I encourage everyone not to use it on their personal phones either," he said.

Some staff of former Gov. Eric Greitens used the app, and there was an investigation into whether the deletion of messages used for government business violated open records laws. But Hawley released a report saying no laws were broken.

Schmitt did not comment on whether his office will continue ongoing investigations from Hawley's tenure.

Schmitt said he will focus in fighting the ongoing opioid epidemic and supporting local prosecutors.

"People deserve to feel safe," he said. "This is a very basic issue and something that the attorney general's office, I think, can play a very important role in."

After Parson appointed Schmitt to replace Hawley, Parson announced state Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, would be the next state treasurer. Fitzpatrick will be sworn in later in January, according to a news release from the treasurer's office.

Parson, the previous lieutenant governor, took over the statehouse when Greitens resigned in June 2018. Parson then appointed state Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, to be lieutenant governor.

In a lawsuit filed last summer, Missouri Democrats and a World War II veteran challenged Parson's appointment. Cole County Judge Jon Beetem dismissed the suit on July 11, 2018, but the Missouri Democratic Party filed an appeal.

The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments on the case on Nov. 7. 2018. The court has not yet announced its decision.

The changes in leadership mean voters did not elect the state's governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer and attorney general.

Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who attended Thursday's ceremony along with Parson, said provisions are in place for circumstances like this.

"I think it's a mark of how well-constructed our government is that you can have changes like this that are planned for," he said. "It follows seamlessly and without problems, and the people of the state are still well-served."

Ashcroft said he believes Schmitt will fill the role well.

"I'm looking forward to the continued great service of the attorney general to protect the people of this state and to enforce the laws of this state," he said.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - A former Jefferson City Public Schools employee filed a lawsuit accusing the district of discrimination. Denise... More >>
58 minutes ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 2:51:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital has been awarded the Veterans Health Administration's award for "Best Place... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 2:39:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The largest rural transit provider in the state is reducing services because of the government shutdown. “What... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 2:31:00 PM CST January 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Firefighters said unattended cooking caused the fire at an apartment complex in central Columbia on Sunday. The... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 10:25:00 AM CST January 22, 2019 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - Moniteau County deputies are looking for a man from the city of California after they said he... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, January 22 2019 Jan 22, 2019 Tuesday, January 22, 2019 10:13:00 AM CST January 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - One person was detained in connection to a threat made at the Midway Travel Plaza on Highway 40,... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 11:58:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
SUNRISE BEACH - One person died at a high rise at the Lake of the Ozarks Monday morning according to... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 11:27:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - With just over two months left before the April 2 Municipal Election, mayoral candidate Chris Kelly is calling... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 5:30:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - With over 500 districts across the country switching to four day school weeks, there has been an increase... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 5:29:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Back in November, Missourians voted to pass Proposition B, which would increase the minimum wage over the next... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 5:21:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Organizers with the MLK Commission gathered Monday to reflect on the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. and... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 4:14:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - An announcement on who will serve as the city's interim police chief should come around Feb. 1, Interim... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 3:05:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Several local businesses are servicing federal employees who are being directly impacted by the partial government shutdown. Lizzi... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 2:25:00 PM CST January 21, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Recreational use of marijuana is illegal in Missouri, but for about one-third of the state's residents,... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 10:24:00 AM CST January 21, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Kamala Harris, a first-term senator and former California attorney general known for her rigorous questioning of President... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 7:39:00 AM CST January 21, 2019 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - Firefighter are calling the Evergreen Condos a "total loss" after a fire early Monday morning. According... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 21 2019 Jan 21, 2019 Monday, January 21, 2019 6:56:00 AM CST January 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Broadway Diner is eliminating its late night service in an effort to keep a "family friendly" atmosphere.... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, January 20 2019 Jan 20, 2019 Sunday, January 20, 2019 2:28:00 PM CST January 20, 2019 in News
CHICAGO (AP) — Activists and others who were disappointed by the outcome of two historic cases involving the killing... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, January 20 2019 Jan 20, 2019 Sunday, January 20, 2019 7:23:00 AM CST January 20, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 41°
4pm 43°
5pm 43°
6pm 43°
7pm 41°