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

7 months 3 weeks 2 days 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
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, May 31 2020 May 31, 2020 Sunday, May 31, 2020 5:00:00 PM CDT May 31, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One resident of The Bluffs tested positive for COVID-19 Saturday after a facility wide testing, according to a... More >>
6 hours ago Sunday, May 31 2020 May 31, 2020 Sunday, May 31, 2020 2:45:00 PM CDT May 31, 2020 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - One man from Jefferson City was transported to a hospital with serious injuries after a police pursuit... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, May 31 2020 May 31, 2020 Sunday, May 31, 2020 1:22:00 PM CDT May 31, 2020 in News
FULTON - SERVE Inc. is asking for more volunteers and more supplies for their food pantry. Despite challenges like... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, May 31 2020 May 31, 2020 Sunday, May 31, 2020 12:51:00 PM CDT May 31, 2020 in News
(CNN) - SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule has opened its hatch, linking the spacecraft with the International Space Station. Astronauts... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, May 31 2020 May 31, 2020 Sunday, May 31, 2020 12:16:14 PM CDT May 31, 2020 in News
FERGUSON, Mo. — Police and protesters clashed outside the Ferguson Police Department as protests over the death... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, May 31 2020 May 31, 2020 Sunday, May 31, 2020 11:09:00 AM CDT May 31, 2020 in Top Stories
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. ... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, May 31 2020 May 31, 2020 Sunday, May 31, 2020 10:06:00 AM CDT May 31, 2020 in News
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The mayor of Atlanta, one of dozens of U.S. cities hit by massive protests, has a... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, May 31 2020 May 31, 2020 Sunday, May 31, 2020 9:59:11 AM CDT May 31, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson signed an executive order to declare a State of Emergency in Missouri because of... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 9:56:00 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A motorcycle driver is seriously injured after losing control of his motorcycle on Saturday. Around 3:40... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 6:06:00 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A new report shows black drivers were 95% more likely to be pulled over by Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 5:44:00 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As if trips to the grocery store weren’t nerve-wracking enough, U.S. shoppers lately have seen... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 5:25:41 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
KBIA - The Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing announced today that they’re making clear, accessible masks... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 5:14:59 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Fair Board is hosting a 4H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) Youth Fair... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 5:05:02 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN - The Daniel Boone Regional Library plans to reopen all buildings Wednesday. There will... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 4:52:40 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- The US military on Friday ordered several police units to be ready for potential deployment to Minnesota as... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 4:41:14 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) — Protesters blocked a downtown St. Louis interstate and set a fire in the road... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 4:17:51 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 7-year-old boy and and his 6-year-old brother died in an unincorporated area east of Kansas... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 Saturday, May 30, 2020 4:13:56 PM CDT May 30, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
10pm 68°
11pm 67°
12am 66°
1am 66°