Greitens offers apology as lawmakers call for resignation

9 months 11 hours 27 minutes ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 2:54:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
By: Jessica Porter, KOMU 8 Reporter, Joe Ward, KOMU 8 Digital Producer and Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Interactive Director
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JEFFERSON CITY - Several Republican lawmakers are calling for Gov. Eric Greitens, resignation after having an affair with an unnamed woman. 

Greitens released a statement late Tuesday afternoon apologizing once again. 

"I am sorry. I am sorry for the pain it caused to everyone impacted, inc luding Sheena, our boys, our families, our friends, and people who have relied on me," he said.

Earlier on Tuesday four Republican House members called for Greitens to step down.

"It's disappointing, it's difficult and I wish we weren't discussing this right now," Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-St. Louis, said. "It’s probably in the best interest of the people that elected him and the people that elected us to do some work for him to just step down and let us move forward as a state." 

Rep. Nate Walker, R-Kirksville, agrees. 

"I think he is now ineffective as the leader of our state," he said. "We should make sure that when we are elected officials, we conduct ourselves in a way that we honor the title, not the title honor us," he said. "I think it's in the best interest of the citizens of Missouri. He needs to step down and we need to have a different governor and move on."

Rep. Steve Cookson, R-Poplar Buff, offered a statement to KOMU saying: 

"I want to appeal to his sense of CHARACTER, and any regard he may have for the good folks of the State of Missouri, I'm calling for him to step down and resign as Governor of the State of Missouri."

Greitens has admitted to the affair, but denies he blackmailed the woman.

"Much has now been written about this, and many of the assertions made have not been truthful and have proven extremely hurtful to Sheena, as well as to me." Greitens said.

A St. Louis attorney told the Associated Press someone from Greitens office reached out to him a few hours before KMOV broke the story last week.

Attorney Al Watkins provided audio of the phone call to the Associated Press, which says Greitens' general counsel was seeking information on what might be reported.

Watkins said he is concerned the counsel was doing "damage control" while on the state payroll, even as the governor himself called the affair a "private matter."

One of the lawmakers calling for Greiten's resignation said the scandal has become too much of a distraction.

"I'm calling for him to step down and resign as Governor of the State of Missouri so that the work on the many issues he has expressed concern for can resume without these distractions." Cookson said.

He said he believes Greitens' "sense of character" should lead him to step down.

Greitens is trying to move past the scandal.

In his statement he said, "Then and now, we are focused on moving forward. I ask for your forgiveness and hope you can find it in your heart to do so."

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