New Felony Charge for Beleaguered Mo. Governor

Eric Greitens says computer tampering charge is a continued 'smear' against him
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 21, 2018 5:30 AM CDT
New Felony Charge for Beleaguered Mo. Governor
In this April 11, 2018, file photo, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks at a news conference in Jefferson City, Mo., about allegations related to an extramarital affair with his hairdresser.   (Julie Smith/The Jefferson City News-Tribune via AP, File)

St. Louis prosecutors on Friday charged Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens with a felony for using a charity donor list for his 2016 political campaign, adding to the woes of the first-term GOP governor. The charge of tampering with computer data is in addition to an earlier charge alleging Greitens took and transmitted a nonconsensual photo of a partially nude woman with whom he had an extramarital affair in 2015. The new charge accuses Greitens of disclosing the donor list from The Mission Continues in 2015 without permission from the St. Louis-based charity that Greitens founded. The AP first reported in October 2016 that Greitens' campaign obtained a list of top donors to The Mission Continues and raised nearly $2 million from donors who were on it. Greitens has denied committing any crimes and vowed to remain in office, calling the investigations into him a "political witch hunt."

A probable cause statement says Greitens directed a person IDed as "KT" to disclose the charity's donor list to a political fundraiser on April 22, 2015; it doesn't ID the fundraiser. The initials match those of Krystal Taylor, a Greitens Group employee who'd previously worked at The Mission Continues. The court filing says Greitens and KT knew the charity donor list had been taken without the charity's permission and used without its consent. Federal law generally prohibits charities like The Mission Continues from becoming involved in political campaigns, and the charity has repeatedly denied granting permission for Greitens—its former CEO—to use the list for political purposes. Greitens now accuses Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat, of wasting "thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars." "This prosecutor will use any charge she can to smear me," Greitens said in a statement.

(More Eric Greitens stories.)

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