Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley says his office will release soon results of its inquiry into the Governor’s Office’s alleged use of secret text messaging software. Hawley’s office is examining fellow Republican Governor Eric Greitens’ staffers reportedly using the tool for business purposes – raising a legal argument about potential open records violations.
“We are very close to concluding the Confide app review and we will have that for you as soon as possible,” says Hawley.
The Kansas City Star first reported in December that the governor had a Confide account connected to his personal cell phone, along with his chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, director of cabinet affairs, legislative director, deputy director of legislative affairs, policy adviser and press secretary.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Greitens has modified his office’s policy and has banned staff from using such software on government or personal phones to conduct business – a move that fellow Republican Hawley supports.
“This is a welcome development, I think. We’ll have more to say about that when we issue our report,” he says.
Last month, a Cole County judge declined to issue a restraining order that would prohibit the Governor’s Office from using text-destroying apps.
Two eastern Missouri attorneys are suing Greitens’ Office alleging a conspiracy to violate open records and records retention laws by using such software that also prevents text messages from being saved, copied or forwarded.