The St. Louis Circuit Attorney Wednesday released the full agreement which led to a felony charge being dropped against former Governor Eric Greitens.
Two of the seven conditions in a Stipulation for Dismissal of a computer tampering charge against Greitens had originally been sealed.
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office told Missourinet Tuesday it was considering its option for releasing the full agreement after confirming the attorney general’s office had said it would be legal to do so.
The two condition that had been sealed were labeled numbers one and seven.
Number one stated that Greitens’ defense lawyers acknowledged the state had sufficient evidence to submit a case against him.
Number seven stated that number one – the first paragraph – would be sealed and not made public unless defendant Greitens commits a new offense or makes a public comment that conflicts with his attorneys’ admission that the state has sufficient evidence.
The felony charge which accused Greitens of misusing a charity donor list was dropped as part of the agreement that called for Greitens to resign from office.
The agreement, which is titled “Stipulation for Dismissal” was approved with the two sealed conditions by the presiding judge in the case, St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Rex Burlison.
In a Tuesday letter to Gardner, Assistant Attorney General John Sauer noted the circuit attorney had inquired as to whether the state’s Sunshine Law required the production of the unsealed, or unredacted, “Stipulation for Dismissal”.
Sauer wrote that “the Stipulation constitutes an open record under the Sunshine Law.” He also wrote, “You have represented to us that no court has ordered any portion of that document to be sealed” and quoted a state law calling for settlement agreements to be public unless “ordered closed by a court” because of an adverse impact it would have on the plaintiffs.
The five other conditions in the Stipulation for Dismissal require concessions from both sides in the case.
Among other things, the Circuit Attorney’s office was called on to dismiss the computer tampering charges upon receiving notification of the governor’s resignation from the secretary of state, and at that point, could not refile those charges.
The document stipulates that the circuit attorney realizes the trial could be expensive with no guaranteed outcome and that both parties agree that resolving the issue quickly is in the best interest of justice.
It further requires Greitens’ lawyers to drop their request to disqualify Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner from the proceeding and calls on them to release her, her office and any hired consultants from civil liability. The defense had accused private investigator William Tisaby of perjury and Gardner of allowing the offense in a previous case.
Greitens’ attorneys had approached Gardner’s office to propose a deal in exchange for his resignation.
The Stipulation for Dismissal had closed out the felony computer tampering charge Greitens faced for allegedly obtaining a donor list from his former charity without consent and using it for campaign purposes
The stipulation doesn’t affect Judge Rex Burlison’s ability to penalize Circuit Attorney Gardner. Burlison determined sanctions were in order following missteps in an earlier case that led to the perjury accusation and confusion over the whereabouts of a key video.
In that case, Greitens was alleged to have taken and transmitted a nonconsensual photo of a woman in a state of undress and then to have threatened to distribute the photo if the woman talked about the encounter.
The charge of felony invasion of privacy was dropped when Judge Burlison ruled that Circuit Attorney Gardner could be called as a witness by the defense.
The case was moved to Kansas City where a special prosecutor could still refile the charge against Greitens. A court date has been set there for July 2nd.
A lawsuit against Greitens over his office’s use of an app that erases text messages is still unresolved. A Cole County judge Wednesday turned down a request for sanctions against the legal team representing Greitens in a case over a message-destroying app.
Attorney Mark Predoli of the Sunshine Project had sought the sanctions after Greitens failed to meet a deadline Friday to provide information about staffers who had used the app and on which phones the app was installed.
The Columbia Tribune reports Circuit Judge Jon Beetem set a June 19 court date for a hearing to get testimony from Greitens staff members on their use of the app.
Also, a House committee that’s been seeking documents from Greitens dark money non-profit organization has dropped its demand for now. Mark Kempton, who’s representing the committee, filed the motion late Wednesday saying the panel is dropping its lawsuit at this time but reserves the right to refile one at a later date.