Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Rachel Lippmann

City Politics and Criminal Justice Reporter

Rachel Lippmann covers courts, public safety and city politics for St. Louis Public Radio. (She jokingly refers to them as the “nothing ever happens beats.”) She joined the NPR affiliate in her hometown in 2008, after spending two years in Lansing covering the Michigan Capitol and various other state political shenanigans for NPR affiliates there. Though she’s a native St. Louisan, part of her heart definitely remains in the Mitten. (And no, she’s not going to tell you where she went to high school.)

Rachel has an undergraduate degree from the Medill School of Journalism, and a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. When she’s not busy pursuing the latest scoop, you can find her mentoring her Big Brothers Big Sisters match, hitting the running and biking paths in south St. Louis, catching the latest sporting event on TV, playing with as many dogs as she possibly can, or spending time with the great friends she’s met in a decade in this city.

Rachel’s on Twitter @rlippmann. Even with 240 characters, spellings are still phonetic.

Ways to Connect

The Supreme Court of Missouri
Flickr | david_shane

The Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday will consider two cases that could have far-reaching implications for the civil rights protections granted to the state’s LGBTQ community.

The judges will be asked to determine whether the Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, even though the words are not in the act itself. Lower courts are split on the issue.

File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The U.S. Supreme Court will not consider the constitutionality of a 241-year prison sentence given to a St. Louis man more than two decades ago.

The high court on Monday announced it would not hear the case of Bobby Bostic. The justices gave no reason for their decision.

Attorney Ed Dowd walks out of a St. Louis courthouse on Thursday, April 19, 2018. A judge ruled that Greitens' felony invasion of privacy trial would continue.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on April 20 at 7:30 p.m. after St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner charged Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens with a felony  On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann break down all the developments in the ongoing saga around Gov. Eric Greitens.

This week was particularly newsworthy. After last week’s release of an explosive House report that led to widespread calls for Greitens to resign, at least four events ended up placing Greitens’ political career on virtual life support. (We uploaded a new version of the show after Greitens was indicted last Friday for felony computer data tampering.)

Defense attorney Jim Bennett leaves the Carnahan Courthouse after a judge ruled he will not dismiss the case against Gov. Eric Greitens. April 19, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated April 19 at 12 p.m. with comments from circuit attorney's office — A St. Louis judge is allowing the criminal case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to move forward, rejecting a move by the governor's lawyers to dismiss it.

Circuit Judge Rex Burlison on Thursday disagreed with defense attorneys that the conduct by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and an investigator she hired was so bad that the only way to protect Greitens’ rights to a fair trial was to dismiss the felony invasion of privacy charge. 

The Carnahan Courthouse is one of two courthouses in the 22nd Judicial Circuit, which is the city of St. Louis
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Prosecutors in St. Louis have to decide soon whether to charge Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens for allegedly misusing a charity donor list during his campaign.

The statute of limitations on the possible charges expires on Sunday, though because the court is closed for the weekend, the deadline to file would be extended to Monday.

Artwork by David Kovaluk
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Tuesday that he had found evidence Gov. Eric Greitens broke the law when he used a donor list from his charity, The Mission Continues, to raise money for his campaign.

Have questions about the Greitens case? Ask them here and we'll answer them on the Politically Speaking podcast.

A volunteer with Coalition for Life St. Louis protests outside Planned Parenthood on Forest Park Avenue.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Supporters of additional restrictions on protesters outside of St. Louis’ Planned Parenthood’s facility in the Central West End will have to try again next session.

The measure got nine of the 15 needed votes Monday, the final day of the 2017-2018 session of the Board of Aldermen. That means backers of the restrictions will have to start the process over.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens helped engineer a freeze on low-income housing tax credits. And that decision is likely to stand unless the legislature makes substantial changes to the program.
File photo I Carolina Hidaglo | St. Louis Public Radio

The judge in charge of Gov. Eric Greitens’ felony invasion of privacy trial said he will rule on Thursday whether to dismiss the case.

The governor’s defense team is asking for the dismissal, claiming misconduct by the prosecution team.

Supporters greet Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner after the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 6, 2017.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated April 16 with timeline on ruling  St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison says he'll rule in open court on Thursday about the defense motion to dismiss the felony invasion of privacy trial against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

Original story from April 12:

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen chambers on July 7, 2017.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen heads back to City Hall Monday for the final day of the current session with several pieces of legislation hanging in the balance.

A protest buffer zone around medical facilities such as Planned Parenthood in the Central West End is the highest-profile measure still awaiting action. Supporters say buffer zone is needed to keep clinic patients and staff safe. Opponents call it a violation of the First Amendment.

Gov. Eric Greitens on Wednesday blasted a Missouri House committee report, even before it was released, calling it "filled with lies" and part of a "political witch hunt." April 4, 2018.
Erin Achenbach | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Rachel Lippmann and Marshall Griffin examine all of the developments in Gov. Eric Greitens’ legal and political saga.

This week’s episode focuses on a House committee report that’s prompting bipartisan calls for Greitens to step down.

Gov. Eric Greitens on Wednesday blasted a Missouri House committee report, even before it was released, calling it "filled with lies" and part of a "political witch hunt." April 4, 2018.
Erin Achenbach | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 8 p.m. with reactions from state officials including Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who called for the governor to resign — The woman with whom Gov. Eric Greitens had an affair in 2015 told a special Missouri House committee investigating his conduct that she felt coerced into a sexual act during one of their early meetings.

The woman, who had been Greitens’ hair stylist, told the committee that Greitens was “controlling” during the encounter on March 21, 2015, tying her to pull-up rings in his basement and tearing her shirt and pants without her consent. She also told the committee she felt compelled to perform oral sex in order to be able to get to work on time. 

Artwork by David Kovaluk
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann break down all of the developments in the legal and political saga of Gov. Eric Greitens.

This week’s show zeroes in on how a special House committee investigating Greitens is set to release its report in the coming days.

An email sent to St. Louis Public Radio about a now-scuttled soccer stadium prompted Attorney General Josh Hawley to once again look into Gov. Eric Greitens’ social media policies. Jan. 2017
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Eric Greitens has been subpoenaed as part of an investigation into whether he used a list of donors to his charity, The Mission Continues, in his campaign for governor.

The fact that Attorney General Josh Hawley had issued subpoenas as part of the probe was already known. A Hawley spokeswoman confirmed in an emailed statement Thursday that the governor was one of the targets.

St. Louis County Police car
Paul Sableman | Flickr

St. Louis County police are a step closer to using body and dashboard cameras on a full-time basis.

The department on Tuesday officially asked companies to submit bids for 350 dashboard and 120 body cameras. Companies have until May 4 to respond.

After a meeting about Mackenzie Village's possible disincorporation, a few residents spoke about running to become village trustees. Village residents on Tuesday voted 18-15 in favor of dissolving the municipality.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

By a three-vote margin, residents of Mackenzie Village — a 72-year-old community in south St. Louis County — have voted to dissolve and become an unincorporated part of the county.

Tuesday’s vote was 18-15. The 33 votes represent roughly a quarter of the village’s 134 residents.

The village is the third small town in St. Louis county to dissolve or merge since 2011. The decision was among the most closely-watched issues on Tuesday.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announceson Nov. 24, 2014, that a grand jury has chosen not to charge Darren Wilson in Michael Brown's death.
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A member of the grand jury that decided to not charge a former Ferguson police officer in the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown will likely head to federal court to challenge Missouri’s rules around grand jury secrecy.

The juror wanted to be able to violate the oath of secrecy to “contribute to the current dialogue around race relations” and to correct what the juror saw as misconduct by St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch.

The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear the case. Two lower courts have said the state’s oath requiring grand jury secrecy does not violate the rights of the unidentified grand juror.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Four rural counties outside St. Louis will ask their voters Tuesday for more money in an effort to keep officers at their departments and make it easier to hire new ones.

The tax increase requests in Franklin, Gasconade, Jefferson and Warren counties come less than six months after St. Louis voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase to boost funding for public safety. A very similar measure passed in St. Louis County a year ago.

Gov. Eric Greitens' defense team outside the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis following a hearing. March 26, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann break down all of the developments in the legal and political saga of Gov. Eric Greitens.

This week’s episode zeroes in on St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison’s decision to have a jury, rather than himself, decide whether Greitens is guilty of felony invasion of privacy.

Ed Dowd, defense attorney for Gov. Eric Greitens, speaks to reporters outside the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. March 26, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated March 26 at 4:30 p.m. with ruling on effort to throw out case based on grand jury instructions — A group of 12 St. Louis residents will decide if Gov. Eric Greitens invaded the privacy of a woman with whom he had an affair in 2015.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison on Monday denied a request by the governor's defense team to hear the case from the bench, rather than a jury.

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