Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Prosecutor dropping computer tampering case against Greitens

Prosecutor dropping computer tampering case against Greitens

After several months of bitter legal battles and political tussles, first-term Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens said Tuesday he is resigning as of Friday.

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Michael L. Parson will step into the job should Greitens announce his resignation.

"I can not allow those forces to continue to cause pain and difficulty to the people that I love", the governor said.

First, on January 10, he admitted to the world that he had an extramarital affair and denied associated claims that he blackmailed his mistress by allegedly photographing her in a compromising position and threatening to disseminate the image.

Baker took over the investigation into Greitens' alleged misconduct after Gardner dropped a felony invasion-of-privacy charge against the governor.

The charge was dismissed during jury selection, but a special prosecutor was considering whether to refile the felony count.

In April, Greitens was charged with a felony of tampering with computer data for allegedly disclosing the charity's donor list to his political fundraiser in 2015 without permission.

Greitens, a former Navy SEAL officer, suggested less than two weeks ago that he would never quit fighting the allegations, even as the Legislature considered impeachment. A secretly recorded conversation between the woman he'd had an affair with and her then-husband revealed claims that Greitens had taken a compromising photo of her and was threatening to release it if she told anyone about their illicit relationship. "If Mr. Greitens were convicted of this charge, it would be unlikely that he would be sentenced to prison given his first-time offender status and the type and level of the charge he face".

Most recently a state House investigative committee has been attempting to collect information about another nonprofit organization with close ties to Greitens.

Some Republicans were anxious that Greitens' issues could cause problems for GOP Senate candidate and state Attorney General Josh Hawley in his challenge of Democratic U.S. Sen.

Gardner declined to comment on that second charge, saying that it's in the hands of the special prosecutor.

Many of Greitens' former colleagues and friends "co-operated with our prosecution, not because they were threatened or harassed, but because it was the right thing to do", she said.

"It is time for us to move on and help the state of Missouri get back to the business of government", Gardner said. The probe came after media reports suggested Greiten's campaign had obtained and used a charity donor list in 2015 as it ramped up fundraising for his gubernatorial bid.

"It's clear that for the forces that oppose us, there is no end in sight", Greitens said.

Gardner and Greitens' legal team started talking about a deal to dismiss the charge over the holiday weekend.

"I think this is a great decision from the governor", said Sen.

Earlier this month, Gardner's office dropped the invasion of privacy case against Greitens. Greitens had hoped to be acquitted, which Roe said would have allowed him to mount a full defense against the potential House impeachment proceedings.

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