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

1 year 4 months 4 weeks 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 — Police arrested three people after a Saturday afternoon robbery led to a car chase, according to a... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 5:46:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri voters legalized medical marijuana in 2018, but some lawmakers are worried about what that could... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:53:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri may have shed its unwanted image as the meth lab capital of the U.S.,... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:21:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is getting a break from winter weather this weekend and many residents are taking advantage of it.... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:21:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
REEDS SPRING, Mo. – Students in the Reeds Spring School District will begin a four-day school week next school... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:11:55 PM CST February 22, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA – Several First Ward neighborhood associations hosted a town hall forum Saturday with city council candidates to discuss housing,... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:07:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
Black LGBTQ youth are less likely to receive mental health... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 3:51:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA — In an effort to contain the novel coronavirus, the Chinese government has canceled a number of exams this... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 2:56:57 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA— A Columbia chiropractic office hosted a seminar to educate and empower women Saturday afternoon. The event was part of... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 2:13:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
MOBERLY - Moberly police officers responded to a domestic assault at 1028 Sinnock Ave., at 2:48 a.m. Friday, February 21,... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 10:45:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - "Honest" and "righteous" are just a couple of words friends used to describe Columbia City Councilman Clyde Ruffin.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 5:55:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Water & Light plans to perform water valve repairs at the intersection of North College Avenue and... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 4:57:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport with American Airlines are proposing a new daily nonstop air service to Charlotte, North Carolina... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 4:49:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Economic Development awarded $7.3 million to nonprofit's through its Neighborhood Assistance Program this week.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 4:25:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police arrested a Jefferson City man in connection to an armed robbery on Jan. 7 at the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 4:23:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
WARDSVILLE - Blair Oaks wrestling sent seven qualifiers to the state championship this weekend in Columbia. Among them is senior... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 3:55:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in Sports
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri announced a large gift from alumni Friday to support the university's NextGen Precision Health... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 3:02:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
HUNTSVILLE - A Moberly man allegedly ran from Randolph County deputies Thursday after they attempted to stop him for careless... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 2:49:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 43°
8pm 43°
9pm 42°
10pm 41°
11pm 40°