Governor Eric Geitens, R, has hired Washington, D.C. attorney Ross Garber to represent his office in his felony case, which means tax money will be used to pay Garber’s salary. Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Brown, R-Rolla, told reporters Thursday in Jefferson City that his panel will have discussions with constitutional attorneys about Greitens’ use of taxpayer funds in the case.
“I don’t think that’s probably appropriate,” said Brown. “If you don’t want to use your own general counsel and you don’t want to use counsel provided for you…you want different counsel, then I think you should probably be responsible for paying the bill, not the taxpayers.”
The hiring of an outside attorney normally involves the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. A Hawley spokesperson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that no request to hire Garber was made or authorized.
Garber has previously represented three other embattled governors facing impeachment – Robert Bentley of Alabama, Mark Sanford of South Carolina and John Rowland of Connecticut.
Greitens is accused of taking a sexually-explicit photo of his mistress without her permission, threatening to blackmail her to keep her quiet about the affair and transmitting the image.
The governor has admitted to having the intimate relationship in 2015 while preparing a run for governor. He has denied the criminal allegations.