Financial forms show Greitens' travel paid by donors

9 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Wednesday, May 02 2018 May 2, 2018 Wednesday, May 02, 2018 2:39:00 PM CDT May 02, 2018 in Continuous News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Documents show a company owned by one of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' biggest financial backers spent nearly $60,000 last year on the governor's travel.

The governor also owns a company called J&J Escape LLC, according to financial disclosure forms filed Tuesday with the Missouri Ethics Commission. Greitens used the company to buy a lakeside home in an eastern Missouri resort community, the Kansas City Star reported .

Greitens vowed when he took office to save taxpayer money by not using the state plane for travel. But critics were concerned the governor could avoid disclosing his travel expenses by relying on private and campaign funds.

Herzog Contracting Corp. paid for the majority of Greitens' travel last year, according to the disclosure forms. The company is owned by Stan Herzog, who donated $650,000 to Greitens' campaign in 2016.

The company also paid an undisclosed amount on "in-state travel" as a gift or honorarium, according to the forms.

Using donors to pay for travel costs is part of Greitens' commitment to "spending as few taxpayer dollars as possible on travel," said Parker Briden, spokesman for the governor.

The disclosure documents also revealed that J&J Escape LLC is listed under the governor's business holdings. The company was incorporated a week after Greitens' inauguration.

The deed lists the company's address as the St. Louis home of Mark Bobak, a lawyer and Greitens' close confidant. Bobak serves on the board of directors of CBX Corp., which owns the bank that loaned J&J Escape $675,000 to purchase the lakeside resort property in Innsbrook.

Bobak and his wife were major donors to Greitens' charity, The Mission Continues. Bobak also contributed nearly $27,000 to Greitens and has been spotted working with the governor's attorneys in the lead up to his May 14 criminal trial.

Greitens has been indicted on felony invasion-of-privacy charges for allegations of taking and transmitting a nonconsensual photo of an at least partially nude woman in 2015. The governor has denied criminal wrongdoing.

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