Report: Screenshots show Greitens' staff used Confide for government work

1 month 3 weeks 6 days ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 4:33:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — CORRECTION: In a story on Sept. 25 about the use of the message-deleting app Confide to conduct government business, The Associated Press reported erroneously that former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and his staff used the app on their state-issued phones. They used it on their personal phones.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Screenshots of text messages show former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' staff used a message-deleting app on their personal phones to discuss government business with each other and people outside the governor's office, according to a published report.

The Kansas City Star reported Tuesday that it obtained copies of screenshots that Greitens' legal team turned over to a Cole County court as part of a lawsuit over Greitens' staff's use of the Confide app. The lawsuit claims the governor's staff used Confide to circumvent the state's open records laws. Although Greitens resigned June 1, his legal team continues to try to get the lawsuit dismissed.

Greitens and his staff have acknowledged using Confide but have said it was only for logistics such as scheduling.

David Steelman, a member of the University of Missouri Board of Curators whose wife was in Greitens' cabinet, told The Star last week that he remembers venting to a friend at a dinner about Grietens, who had been governor for less than a year at the time.

"I think I said to (his friend), 'Who's (Greitens) listening to?'" Steelman recalled in an interview. "And he said 'just get on Confide and you'll see. if you want to know who is running government, there they are right there.'"

As part of the lawsuit, the governor's office earlier this year turned over screenshots of text messages Greitens' staff sent discussing the use of Confide, which destroys messages after they are read. The attorneys for the plaintiffs argue Missouri residents deserve to know what happened during Greitens' tenure to prevent a similar problem in the future.

One exchange documented in the screenshots occurred last November between Steelman and Greitens' former deputy chief of staff, Nick Maddux. Steelman sent Maddux a text message asking for a phone call and Maddux replied, "I'm jammed up until four. Just shot you a message on Confide."

Earlier this year, The Star reported on another screenshot showing three Greitens' staffers discussing using Confide to share talking points on one of the governor's policy priorities. Other screenshots show numerous staffers texting colleagues to notify them that they had sent a message using Confide, or inviting them to download the app.

"Evidence continues to pour in demonstrating the use of Confide to conduct public business in the Greitens administration," said Mark Pedroli, one of two attorneys who filed the lawsuit. "Based on comments of others in and around government, I'm wondering if any public business was conducted on the record."

In May, the governor's office acknowledged that 20 staffers had Confide accounts during Greitens' tenure, including Greitens. The former governor said he used Confide only to communicate with his staff about scheduling. Some of his campaign staff, Greitens' political allies and people Greitens appointed to boards and commissions also had Confide accounts.

At a June hearing, the ex-governor's attorneys — who were hired when Greitens was still in office — argued that text messages on Confide couldn't be made public because they were automatically deleted.

"The Sunshine Law is designed to allow access to documents that exist," Barbara Smith, an attorney who represents the governor's office, said at the hearing.

Pedroli called that a dangerous legal argument that would reward Greitens and his staff for "destroying the evidence."

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - Only one person has ever been convicted of intentionally causing a catastrophe in Missouri, and to this... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 4:35:00 PM CST November 21, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - A new complaint filed in federal court Tuesday said adminstrators with the School of the Osage school... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 4:24:00 PM CST November 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - To many, drones are toys, but not to the Federal Aviation Association (FAA). The FAA reports 1000s... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 4:00:00 PM CST November 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia/Boone County Deptartment of Public Health and Human Services is echoing the CDC and FDA’s warning to... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 3:53:00 PM CST November 21, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Mike Matthes, who announced Tuesday he will resign as city manager, will get nearly $180,000 in severance pay,... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 3:26:46 PM CST November 21, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Deputies arrested two men not from Boone County on child pornography charges over a span of two... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 3:24:51 PM CST November 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - University of Missouri Athletics, Reinhardt Construction and Mortenson Construction hosted a ceremony to commemorate progress made on the... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 2:56:00 PM CST November 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are looking for a woman who reportedly stole a Playstation 4 after making an arrangement to buy... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 2:37:42 PM CST November 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Better Business Bureau is advising people to ignore the Secret Sister Gift Exchange. "Ignore it.... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 1:38:00 PM CST November 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are looking for the man who robbed a bank in downtown Columbia early Tuesday afternoon. The... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 11:01:00 AM CST November 21, 2018 in News
BRUNSWICK – Pecan trees are the root of Brunswick’s tourism industry, and this town is “nuts” about pecans. The... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 8:07:00 AM CST November 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - It's one of the busiest travel holidays of the year. According to AAA, this year is... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 5:50:00 AM CST November 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - City Manager Mike Matthes' handling of the community policing efforts could be cited as a big reason for... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 12:06:00 AM CST November 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The 17th annual Partnership Against Hunger collected nearly 12,000 pounds of food and more than $42,000 in monetary... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 11:30:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - The Miller County Sheriff’s Office conducted a large investigation on November 11 and 12 by the United... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 7:31:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - City Manager Mike Matthes announced his resignation Tuesday morning and it has caused a lot of reactions from... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 6:37:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON DC - Health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert for consumers to avoid... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 6:19:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is renewing a lobbying ban for members of his office. Parson... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 5:46:59 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
5am 34°
6am 33°
7am 36°
8am 40°