After a 20-month investigation, the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) on Thursday released an order exonerating former Governor Eric Greitens. They found “no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Eric Greitens.” Charlie Spies, the leader of Dickinson Wright PLLC’s political law practice, served as his legal counsel throughout the MEC investigation.
Further, in an unusual move, the MEC agreed not “to limit the civil or criminal remedies that may be available to Governor Greitens,” against those who made accusations.
Investigation into former Missouri governor who resigned finds 'no evidence of any wrongdoing'https://t.co/isz9IgZ4CF
— Eric Greitens (@EricGreitens) February 14, 2020
The popular governor had been forced to resign only months into his term for what he had called baseless claims at the time. He had upset the political establishment in Missouri with his style of leadership and outsider status. The allegations were first brought by a Democrat operative.
“Eric Greitens is and always has been innocent of these false accusations,” said Catherine Hanaway, the leader of Husch Blackwell LLP’s Government Solutions practice team and a former U.S. attorney. “Our contention from the beginning was that the accusations against Mr. Greitens were baseless.”
READ: Charges against Greitens dropped
The MEC order is the result of one of the most thorough and exhaustive investigations in the history of the commission. Overall, the MEC issued 23 subpoenas, conducted 20 interviews and reviewed roughly 8,000 documents, emails and videos. Over the last two years, the Greitens campaign incurred costs of more than $1.3 million defending against the allegations.
“It’s good to have been exonerated, and I’m glad to have been vindicated,” Greitens said. “I’m grateful that the truth has won out, but this was never really about me — they launched this attack because we were fighting for the people of Missouri.”
READ: FBI agent pleads fifth over questions of his actions against Greitens
“I would like to thank Charlie Spies of Dickinson Wright PLLC and Catherine Hanaway of Husch Blackwell LLP for finally setting the record straight.”
The commission also concluded that his campaign likely violated financial reporting rules by not disclosing a poll given to the campaign that was paid for by A New Missouri, a nonprofit that supported Greitens’ agenda.
The commission ordered Greitens’ campaign to pay a roughly $178,000 fine, but he only has to pay $38,000 within 45 days and the rest will be stayed. The campaign would only have to pay the rest of the money if he were to break more campaign finance laws in the next two years. Spies told reporters that the campaign will pay the fine, though it denies doing anything wrong.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice