Former Governor Roger Wilson has pleaded guilty to misappropiriating $5,000 from the Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance company. The plea comes about 24 hours after he was indicted by a federal grand jury. Wilson will be sentenced July 9. He could get as much as a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Wilson is one of two people who had been accused of misappropriating money from MEM and giving it to the Missouri Democratic party. The indictment also charges St. Louis lawyer Edward Griesedieck, whose law firm handled legal work for the company.
Wilson was the Chief Executive Officer of MEM, a workers compensation insurance operation established by the state in 1990s.
The indictment charges that MEM board chairman Douglas Morgan told Griesedieck to have his law firm donate $5,000 to the Missouri Democratic Party, then add that amount to the bill for legal services the law firm provided to the insurance company. The indictment says Wilson approved that bill although he knew $5,000 of it was for reimbursement to the law firm for its donation.
The indictment says Morgan and Griesedieck arranged for a $3,000 donation to the party, with reimbursement coming from MEM. But the company’s general counsel questioned the bill during a routine review of legal matters. Wilson reimbursed the law firm from his personal funds
Morgan, the chairman of the board at the time, has since died.
Wilson served briefly as governor after the death of Mel Carnahan in October, 2000 until the inauguration of Bob Holden in January, 2001.