Gov. Greitens' attorney tries to toss Confide case

7 months 1 week 3 days ago Saturday, April 07 2018 Apr 7, 2018 Saturday, April 07, 2018 4:31:00 AM CDT April 07, 2018 in News
By: Summer Balentine, Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An attorney for Gov. Eric Greitens on Friday argued a Cole County judge should toss out a lawsuit alleging governor's office staff violated the Sunshine law by using a message-deleting smartphone app.

At issue is a lawsuit over a December open-records request by a St. Louis attorney for records related to use of the Confide app by top staff in the Republican governor's office. The app automatically deletes messages after they are read and prevents recipients from saving, forwarding, printing or taking screenshots of messages. The feature sparked concern among some government-transparency advocates.

Greitens' attorney Bob Thompson on Friday argued that the governor's office complied with attorney Ben Sansone's records request to the extent it could. He said providing cellphone numbers of staff who downloaded the app raised safety concerns, and he said the nature of the Confide app means there was no record of messages.

Thompson told Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem that officials "can't produce what does not exist."

Thompson also said Sansone doesn't have standing to allege potential violations of records-retention laws. He said those concerns should go to the attorney general, prosecutors or other elected officials to enforce.

Fellow Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley's office launched an investigation into use of the app last year, but didn't find any evidence of wrongdoing.

Five governor's office staffers told the attorney general's office that they discussed government-related business using the app, according to the report. But the staffers said they only messaged about "logistics and scheduling," such as planning meetings.

The attorney general's office concluded that state law doesn't require those types of messages to be retained because they were "exclusively non-substantive."

Mark Pedroli, who represented Sansone, said no court has ever ruled against a private citizen suing over open-records-law violations, so it should be allowed. He said that was the intent behind the law.

Pedroli told the judge that governor's office staff "made a premeditated decision to destroy" documents, and in court filings he argued the office should have attempted to recover the messages from Confide.

Beetem did not indicate when he would decide whether to allow the case to move forward.

More News

Grid
List
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A jury has found a Wisconsin man guilty of first-degree murder for killing a Missouri mother who... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 9:47:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Families filled empty shoeboxes with hygiene products, school supplies, clothes, shoes and toys for children in need at... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 8:04:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The price of a typical Thanksgiving meal in Missouri is a full $5.25 higher than the national average.... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 7:18:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The nature of Twitter and how government officials use it was at the heart of a hearing... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 4:11:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - The University of Missouri Board of Curators announced cuts to costs Friday to help with enrollment at... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 3:24:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- USA Gymnastics' longtime chief operating officer has resigned, the organization said Friday, becoming the latest in a string... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 2:56:27 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- A tree in downtown Columbia became the target of vandalism Thursday night when two men were caught on camera... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 2:49:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Several groups in the City of Columbia are working to regulate and tax short-term rentals, such as Airbnb's.... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 1:18:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A man suspected of stealing more than $46,000 from the Boone County Treasurer's Office in late 2017 is... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 12:21:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested Dyran Hill, 23, of Columbia in connection with a robbery Thursday in the parking lot of... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 12:11:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The Department of Education on Friday proposed new rules for dealing with sexual harassment and assault on college... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 11:55:52 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — Jennie-O Turkey recalled packages of ground turkey in a salmonella outbreak, and regulators say additional products... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 10:58:02 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The week around Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel periods in the year. AAA projects... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 10:16:00 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON, DC - The White House says it will "temporarily reinstate" the White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 9:40:00 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - A pedestrian was struck and killed Thursday night on Highway 63 just south of Moberly, according to crash... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 4:49:00 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Out-of-state vehicles around the University of Missouri are having their license plates stolen. It’s been happening in garages... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:17:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
CENTRALIA - Where would a man celebrating a half century of giving blood go to celebrate? Another blood drive... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:55:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- In a meeting this afternoon, Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes, apologized for the confusion surrounding the Columbia Police Department’s... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:17:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 37°
3am 34°
4am 34°
5am 34°
6am 35°