Wednesday, January 17, 2018

As more audiotapes become known, Missouri GOP governor Eric Greitens faces evidence that he used state resources to help cover up a personal sex scandal

Eric and Sheena Greitens
The sex scandal swirling around Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has officially entered cover-up mode, with revelations that Greitens used a state-paid attorney to try to keep the story from hitting the press. If Missouri history is an indicator, that could be a sign that Greitens, considered a possible future GOP presidential candidate, is headed down a slippery slope that ends with a forced resignation.

As if the news could not get much more treacherous for the embattled former Navy SEAL, reports broke last night that the ex husband of Greitens' mistress has more audiotapes than had originally been made known to the public -- and he has turned them over to the FBI and state law-enforcement officials. On top of that, five GOP lawmakers in Jefferson City called on Greitens to resign.

The angle of Greitens using a state-paid attorney in an attempt at damage control could prove to be his undoing. From an article at

Before news of a scandal involving Gov. Eric Greitens broke on Wednesday, at least one of his taxpayer-paid attorneys was on an intelligence-gathering mission.

In audio obtained by the Post-Dispatch, an attorney who works in the governor’s office, Lucinda Luetkemeyer, is recorded speaking with St. Louis attorney Albert Watkins about the political storm that was brewing.

Watkins represents the man who has alleged that Greitens in 2015 took a compromising photo of the man’s then-wife and threatened to release it if she ever spoke of their affair.

It is unclear from the recording whether Luetkemeyer knew of those allegations.

“Can I just ask you this question, Al?” Luetkemeyer asks in the audio. “Is your client talking to anyone in the media right now?”

His client was talking to the media.

Watkins, who provided a copy of the audio recording to the Post-Dispatch, said the conversation occurred about 2 p.m. Wednesday. At 10 p.m., St. Louis television station KMOV-TV (Channel 4) first reported that Greitens, a Republican, had an extramarital affair as he was preparing his successful run for governor. Greitens has denied taking a photo or threatening the woman.

The use of public resources for personal business has serious implications:

The recording offered a behind-the-scenes view of the Greitens’ governmental team and how it was trying to gather information about the emerging story. It also raised questions, Watkins said, about whether taxpayer resources should have been used to help control possible fallout.

“I found it chillingly disturbing that she would make that call as a state-paid employee,” Watkins said.

Watkins said he did not tell Luetkemeyer that he was recording their conversation. Such a recording is generally legal in Missouri if one party is aware that a recording is being made.

Glendale Mayor Richard Magee, who has worked as an attorney for several St. Louis County municipalities, said state employees shouldn’t expend taxpayer resources on a public official’s private legal matters.

“That person should be working on state-related business,” he said. “This is a great example of a personal situation ... It has nothing to do with his position other than it may diminish people’s confidence in him.”

You don't have to go too far back in Missouri history to find another politician who paid dearly for using public resources for personal gain. Like Greitens, William Webster was considered possible presidential timber. But in the early 1990s, Webster became ensnared in a federal investigation:

The federal investigation of William Webster began in 1991. The U.S. attorney's office in Springfield received a tip about a land deal involving a partnership that included William, Richard Jr. and Sen. Webster [Bill's brother and father]. The partnership sold a financially troubled condominium development to a group that included Stephen Redford, a resort developer who had been investigated by the attorney general's office.

Then, prompted by several articles in the Post-Dispatch, the investigation turned to William E. Roussin, the St. Louis lawyer who defended the Second Injury Fund for the attorney general's office and collected campaign contributions for Webster.

Throughout his campaign for governor, Webster denied that he was under investigation, even though federal authorities had informed him in November 1991 — a year before the election — that he was a target.

Redford and Roussin pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges, implicating Webster as they did so. Webster hadn't been charged. By then the court of public opinion, in Missouri's Nov. 3 general election, had issued its verdict. Webster lost the governor's race overwhelmingly to Democrat Mel Carnahan.

Despite the $5 million that Webster collected for his campaign, he still shaved campaign expenses by using his staff and equipment in the attorney general's office for political purposes. He reluctantly pleaded guilty to that last week before U.S. District Judge D. Brook Bartlett.

Could Eric Greitens be headed down the same path as William Webster, also a Republican? The release of more audiotapes will not help matters. From an article at

An attorney for the man whose secretly recorded conversation with his wife exposed Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ extramarital affair last week says his client made additional recordings as well, and that he has forwarded them to both the St. Louis circuit attorney’s office and the FBI.

The attorney, Albert Watkins, didn’t specify that the FBI requested the previously undisclosed recordings, but he said there was an “expression of interest” by the federal agency about them.

Watkins declined to comment on how many additional recordings between the then-spouses exist, or whether the additional recordings involved any discussion of Greitens.

Greitens last week acknowledged he’d had an affair with the woman, his hair stylist, in 2015, as he was starting his run for governor. Greitens has forcefully denied a related allegation that the woman made to her husband: that Greitens took a nonconsensual photo of her while she was bound, blindfolded and partly undressed during a sexual encounter and that he threatened to publicize the photo if she exposed their affair.

The taking of nonconsensual photos of a person in a state of full or partial nudity is a Class A misdemeanor in Missouri, punishable by up to a year imprisonment. Some legal experts say Greitens’ alleged threat regarding the photo also could constitute blackmail or extortion.


Anonymous said...

Using taxpayer-funded resources to help hide your personal sex scandal? Not recommended.

Anonymous said...

This is the most serious stuff to come out on Greitens so far.

Anonymous said...

Hubby was very smart to record this stuff from his straying wife.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a play from Bentley's playbook.

Anonymous said...

I love how the mistress is asking for privacy -- after she diddled around with the governor.

The time to think about that is BEFORE you diddle the governor.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comparison to the William Webster case. What a mighty fall he took.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:24 --

Yes, I'm sure many Alabamians will find a lot of this Greitens story familiar.

legalschnauzer said...

For those who are interested, here is more on the William Webster scandal in Missouri:

Here is key information:

Webster's re-election campaign had received unusually large contributions from firms making claims against a little-known $30 million workers' compensation fund, which Webster had defended by appointing private lawyers as special assistant state attorneys general. Lawyers who contributed to Webster obtained substantially larger settlements for their clients than those lawyers who did not contribute.[1] Ultimately, Webster plead guilty to two federal felony charges of conspiracy and embezzlement related to abusing his position as Attorney General by using his state staff and office equipment for political purposes.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Webster deal was mostly a scam among lawyers, to grease each others' palms.

legalschnauzer said...

@11:03 --

That's exactly what it was.

Anonymous said...

Dirty lawyers rigging the system to benefit themselves?

I'm shocked!

Anonymous said...

New York Magazine says Eric Greitens "is in a world of trouble."

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you are exposing this corruption. Have you ever considered investigating public schools with high teacher turnover? We have been having an interesting conversation with our niece, a teacher, about this over this long "snow week" we seem to be having. Brrrr! She told us that what she has seen is, it's not unusual for male principals to harass teachers. Teachers talk about it amongst themselves but they know they can't go to the board of education or they'll never teach again. Instead of reporting them, they just move to a different school at the end of the school year. That is unless there are having an affair with him and getting rewarded by the schedule and students they want, which she hinted is going on. So when there are sexual favors being exchanged for classroom favors, it creates issues amongst the teachers. She said merit based pay will never work for this very reason.

She said that this kind of environment has caused some teachers that she knows to exit the teaching profession all together. She said her principal is constantly making sexual jokes around women that make her and others uncomfortable. It does make you wonder why teachers leave some schools after only one year and if this anything to do with it.

e.a.f. said...

using state assets to deal with an affair, gee that sounds a tad like Alabama. Guess this will be another gov. who is going to be looking for a new job or some such thing.

Wanting to run for pres, did he, well not so much now, but then who knows. Look at the latest news regarding Dtrump and his affair some years ago. Oh, those American politicians a laugh a minute. All the makings of a Mexican soap opera.

Anonymous said...

Governor Greitens Announces FY19 Budget Proposal

Today, Governor Eric Greitens outlined his FY19 budget proposal at a press conference in the Governor’s Office.

The Governor’s budget proposal includes increases in funding for infrastructure, education, public safety, and programs to protect Missouri’s most vulnerable children—funded by reductions in spending on higher education institutions, efficiencies in Medicaid spending, and other smaller reductions in government spending.

“The budget we’re introducing today is a common-sense, conservative budget. We’re watching out for the tax dollars of the people of Missouri, making important investments in Missouri’s future, and also making tough decisions to make sure we don’t burden our children with debt,” said Governor Greitens.



Public Safety Funding

The following stakeholders included a statement of support for increased funding to Missouri first responders and law enforcement:

“The Missouri State Troopers’ Association appreciates Governor Greitens’ continued commitment to public safety through these initiatives for the upcoming fiscal year. Some of these are long overdue and will be beneficial to the state of Missouri for years to come. It is always our goal to have the best training, best equipment, and competitive pay. With this budget, the Governor has stepped forward to prove that he truly does have the backs of law enforcement in this state,” said Matt Broniec, President of the Missouri State Trooper’s Association.

“The Governor has long been committed to public safety and our law enforcement officers. His latest budget is another confirmation of that support. I am very pleased to see that the Governor is serious about making sure our first responders have the equipment and training they need to do their jobs and keep Missourians safe,” said Jim Arnott, Vice President of the Missouri Sheriff’s Association.

legalschnauzer said...

Ah, so Arnott and Greitens are kissing buddies. How interesting. Those two deserve each other.

If my memory is correct, Greitens took office on or about 1/11/17, and Carol was arrested on 1/30/17. Pretty close in time.

Almost makes you wonder if someone contacted the new (and we now know, corrupt gov) and encouraged him to have Arnott conduct a bogus arrest on Carol.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

More reading:

JEFFERSON CITY — Two days after Auditor Nicole Galloway publicized a local whistleblower's allegation, Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott called several state lawmakers with concerns about a bill to expand the authority of the Missouri auditor and add protections for whistleblowers of public employees....

Arnott seemed to acknowledge that lobbying against a whistleblower bill two days after Galloway requested Greene County let her investigate a whistleblower complaint could lead observers to wonder whether there was any reason to believe that one caused the other.

"No, there's not," Arnott said. "But I'm not going to be able to prove that."


In July, Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott asked the Missouri State Highway Patrol to investigate County Commissioner Lincoln Hough over an alleged failure to pay personal property taxes on his cattle.

Hough, a cattle farmer and former state representative who joined the commission a year ago, said the request for an investigation is part of ongoing efforts by Arnott to intimidate him. Along with other examples, Hough cited an incident in September when he was pulled over by Arnott.

"This whole thing is a joke," Hough said. "I think it's nothing more than a tactic to bully me into doing what the sheriff wants me to do."

The highway patrol eventually told the sheriff Hough didn't break any laws. Hough said — and records show — he pays property taxes on all his cows and farm equipment every year.

Arnott told the News-Leader he has not tried to intimidate Hough and that the commissioner has never approached him with those concerns.


Hough and Arnott have been at odds over different issues in the past few months. In August, they disagreed about how big a jail expansion should be. Arnott accused Hough, who is running for state Senate, of pandering to voters by recommending a smaller tax proposal. Hough, to the surprise of Arnott and other county leaders, voted against putting the 1/2-cent sales tax on the November ballot.

More recently, Hough and Arnott have been on different sides of the debate on whether to allow the state auditor to investigate whistleblower complaints that public resources were misused to advocate for the tax measure.

Hough has repeatedly urged the commission to allow the auditor to investigate, as she has requested. Arnott has said the auditor's interest in Greene County is politically motivated and filed suit against her in an attempt to learn more about the contents of the whistleblower allegations.

Anonymous said...

More reading:


Greitens targets Koster in Springfield rally
Giacomo Bologna, GBOLOGNA@NEWS-LEADER.COM Published 9:22 p.m. ET Aug. 25, 2016 | Updated 9:35 p.m. ET Aug. 25, 2016...

Greitens told the News-Leader that the most crucial element of the campaign headed toward the general election is to stay on message. That message, he explained, was that he, a political newcomer, is much different from Koster, whom he called a corrupt liberal....

Several area Republicans were in attendance Tuesday night. Greitens was introduced by Rep. Billy Long, who told the crowd that he was sold on Greitens after having lunch with him at Jimm's Steakhouse in Springfield.

"I came away from that meeting thinking, 'Wow,'" Long said.

He urged Republicans to come together after the primary, saying there's "no do-over" on Nov. 9.

Greitens' speech was followed by Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Cirtin, who said he and Sheriff Jim Arnott have been longtime supporters of Greitens.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for sharing. Arnott is as dirty as they come, and it figures that he would support Greitens.

Anonymous said...

Read the comments to this LS post:

legalschnauzer said...

@11:27 --

Yes, those comments are interesting. The ties between Billy Long and Arnott jump out at me.

And Arnott wanted to fire deputies who didn't like having "In God We Trust" on their vehicles? Good grief!

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