Missouri pays $366K to defend lawsuit over Greitens' app use

1 week 22 hours 27 minutes ago Tuesday, October 08 2019 Oct 8, 2019 Tuesday, October 08, 2019 1:17:00 PM CDT October 08, 2019 in News
By: Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri taxpayers have spent $366,000 on private attorneys to defend former Gov. Eric Greitens' use of a self-deleting text message app, according to a newspaper's review of state records.

The bulk of the spending was by the governor's office, and about $161,000 of it came after fellow Republican Mike Parson became governor following Greitens' resignation in June 2018, The Kansas City Star reported.

A state audit in September showed that taxpayers had spent more than $200,000 before Greitens resigned to defend him in a 2017 lawsuit alleging that Greitens' office used the app Confide to avoid being subjected to Missouri's open records laws.

A judge dismissed most of the case in July, ruling the app doesn't create government records that can be retained, but the litigation is ongoing. Greitens resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct and campaign violations as he battled mounting legal bills and the pressures of defending against possible impeachment and a criminal trial.

The Star reported that its review of state records showed that the governor's office has spent $340,000 to the Bryan Cave law firm in Kansas City, Missouri, paying its attorneys $370 an hour. Another $26,000 came from a legal defense fund administered by the attorney general's office, with a Bryan Cave attorney paid at $140 an hour.

The governor's office negotiated its own contract with Bryan Cave in March 2018, largely bypassing the legal defense fund, which is designed to keep expenses down.

"We inherited this case with these contracts and agreements already in place," said Parsons spokeswoman Kelli Jones.

The Star reported in late 2017 that Greitens and his senior staff were using Confide, which automatically deletes a text message after it has been read. The use of the app alarmed transparency advocates.

The attorney general's office usually defends a state agency when it's sued. But then-Attorney General Josh Hawley was conducting his own investigation into Greitens' use of the app and gave Greitens permission to hire private attorneys to defend the governor's office in the lawsuit.

Jim Layton, a former state solicitor general who spent 22 years in the attorney general's Office, said it's unusual for private attorneys to be paid by a state agency and by the legal expense fund at the same time.

"I don't recall that ever happening," he said.

More News

Grid
List
DETROIT (AP) — Bargainers for General Motors and the United Auto Workers have reached a tentative contract deal that could... More >>
39 minutes ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 11:05:35 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLE COUNTY - A St. Tomas man is dead after a tractor crash Tuesday evening. According to the Missouri... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:53:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - New trail markers identifying places of interest in the African American community are coming to the downtown Columbia... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:53:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The local segment of a national student film competition called "Campus Movie Fest" (CMF) is starting Wednesday at... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:52:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A racist image imitating the web site of Columbia's Gentry Middle School was discovered on Google. Viewers... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:24:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department (MUPD) is investigating a sexual assault that happened over the weekend near... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:53:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Twelve Democratic presidential candidates took stage Tuesday night in Ohio while mid-Missouri viewers watched on television. The debate... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:44:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri released the results Tuesday of a survey on the campus climate surrounding sexual assault... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:27:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway said Tuesday Missouri is in no shape to handle a recession if financial... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:13:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - From ear to ear, it's hard to miss 94-year-old Elmo Winterhalter's smile. "I don't know I've always... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:40:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in EmVP
COLUMBIA - MU Health Care unveiled a new therapeutic, outdoor activity center for patients Tuesday. The area has a... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 4:14:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Three people were hospitalized after a crash involving an ambulance shut down two major roads Tuesday afternoon. ... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 3:20:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson signed an executive order Tuesday to create a campaign to educate, warn, and deter... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 1:32:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (KSHB) — You never know what you'll encounter as a police officer. One day, you may walk... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 12:47:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who is on a record-breaking pace during the first half of the season, and Wisconsin running... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 12:10:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in Sports
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana authorities say an improvised explosive device blew up in an elementary school playground in Helena.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 11:07:00 AM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Moberly man pleaded guilty to a federal charge of aggravated identity theft and will be sentenced in... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 10:44:41 AM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
(CNN) -- When it comes to concussions in high school sports, there is good news and bad news, a new... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:29:48 AM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 48°
12pm 50°
1pm 52°
2pm 54°
3pm 55°