Missouri’s Republican Governor Eric Greitens says he’ll resign from office on June 1st. Greitens made the announcement at his office in the state Capitol in a four minute address to the press. Greitens said his political opponents were responsible for damaging him without merit and denied being guilty of any legal wrongdoing.
“It is clear that for the forces that oppose us, there is no end in sight,” said Greitens. “I cannot allow those forces to continue to cause pain and difficulty to the people that I love. I know, and people of good faith know that I am not perfect. But I have not broken any law, nor committed any offense worthy of this treatment.”
Greitens remained defiant during his brief address to the press Tuesday afternoon, claiming his backers have expressed anger with the process and saying his opponents would be dealt with harshly over time.
“Traveling the state I have talked to many of you who have harbored extraordinary anger at this ordeal and for those who have pushed and promoted it,” Greitens said. “For those who have (resorted) to vengeance, let us allow history and god to bring justice.”
It’s unknown how his resignation will impact a pending felony charge against the governor in St. Louis or the possible refiling of another charge that could be brought in Kansas City.
He faces a felony computer tampering charge in St. Louis for obtaining the donor list of his former charity without permission and using it for campaign purposes. That case has been delayed pending the outcome of a grand jury investigation.
Greitens is also under scrutiny for allegedly taking a nonconsensual photo of a woman while she was undressed, bound and blindfolded and threatening to distribute the photo if she mentioned their affair. The allegations against Greitens led to a felony invasion of privacy charge in St. Louis that was dropped but could be refiled in Kansas City where a court date has been set for July 2nd.
Some state lawmakers have stated that the special session called by the Missouri Legislature to explore the possibility of impeaching him over alleged misconduct will now be dissolved.
Republican Lt. Governor Mike Parson will take over as governor of the state. There is no clear line of succession for a replacement to fill Parson’s position as lieutenant governor.
A measure passed by the Senate earlier this month would have assigned to the governor the responsibility of appointing a lieutenant governor in the event the position is vacant, but it failed to advance in the House in the final days of the legislature.