State Highway Patrol officials say a member of the governor’s security detail acted appropriately in an incident in Kansas City in which news reporters were pushed aside so the governor could leave for another appointment.
A video posted on the Kansas City Star Web site shows Governor Blunt sitting in the back of his SUV answering questions from two reporters from the Star about the firing of former Deputy General Counsel Scott Eckersley. Blunt says he has to go. A security officer tells reporters to move aside. The door slams, the vehicle moves on.
State Highway Patrol spokesman, Captain Tim Hull, says the patrol has no problem with how Blunt’s security guard acted. Hull says no evaluation of the security guard’s action is being considered by the patrol. Hull says the officer acted in accordance with the duties required.
The security detail, according to Hull, has two duties. Officers protect the governor and his family and make sure the governor gets to his appointments. Hull says the officer in question acted to keep the governor on schedule. He says the officer was not attempting to stop the reporters from asking questions.
A spokesman for the governor’s office says the video doesn’t tell the whole story. He says the governor had answered questions about many subjects, including Eckersley. Eckersley has claimed he was fired, because he disagreed with how the governor’s office had handled e-mails. The governor says Eckersley was fired for disciplinary reasons.
Blunt had been in Kansas City to present special veteran medallions at the VFW National Headquarters. He left for a similar ceremony at the National Guard Armory in St. Joseph.