Tuesday hearing to address Greitens' use of Confide app

1 month 4 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:00:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
By: Sarah Hempelmann, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLE COUNTY - Former Gov. Eric Greitens' attorneys will meet with lawyers Tuesday to discuss his use of the Confide app while in office.

Confide is an app used to "discuss sensitive topics, brainstorm ideas or give unfiltered opinions without fear of the Internet’s permanent, digital record and with no copies left behind," according to its website

Mark Pedroli, the attorney representing the group Sunshine Project, filed the original lawsuit against Greitens in December.

The lawsuit came after allegations that using the app was a violation of the Sunshine and open records laws. 

Last month, Pedroli requested a list of information about the governor's use of the app. The requests included:

  • names of everyone in the governor's office, including Greitens, who used or downloaded the Confide app
  • the number of phones the app was downloaded on, as well as the make, model, phone numbers and screen names 

MU Law Professor Sandy Davidson said the cause of action does not go away just because he is no longer governor.

"If there were violations, they're still violations," she said. "So, I think the principle involved remains, and that's a principle of wanting transparency in government."

Davidson said the use of the app was a violation of the Sunshine Law. 

"If you are doing public business, you are supposed to keep a record of it," she said. "Confide keeps no records. The content is lost. That's the way it was designed to work."

KOMU 8 News reached out to Greitens' attorneys and received no response. 

Jon Beetem, the Cole County circuit judge, was also not available for comment. 

Cole County Circuit Court Media coordinator Bob Watson said in an email, Beetem "can NOT talk about it outside the court process and direct communications with BOTH lawyers at the same time."

The hearing is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, in Beetem's courtroom in the Cole County Courthouse.

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