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

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

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is alleging that Gov. Eric Greitens may have used a text-erasing app to transmit a photo of his former mistress.

That photo is at the center of Greitens’ felony invasion of privacy case, where he’s accused of taking a revealing photo of the woman without her consent.

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

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann round up this week’s legal and political news surrounding Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

This week’s episode zeroes in on how Greitens’ political plight is weighing on other political figures — including Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Nicole Galloway poses for a portrait at St. Louis Public Radio. March, 22, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

“I am tough and I am thorough,” explained Nicole Galloway, Missouri’s state auditor.

Galloway, who joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Thursday, detailed what her job entails, explained her ongoing audit of the City of St. Louis and addressed the mood in Jefferson City as Gov. Eric Greitens’ felony invasion of privacy trial is set to get underway May 14.

Galloway’s audit of the City of St. Louis began a few months ago and will likely take several years. Part of the audit, Galloway explained, will be a review of development incentives.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks to reporters after the 2017 adjourned. Greitens didn't have the smoothest relationship with legislators, including Republicans that control both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated March 21 at 5:45 p.m. with comments from Wednesday's hearing — Gov. Eric Greitens will go on trial in May in St. Louis for felony invasion of privacy.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison on Wednesday denied an attempt by Greitens' defense team to start the trial in April, in order to get it done before a special state House committee investigating the governor finishes its work.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated March 21 at 6:15 p.m. with additional comments — The presiding judge in St. Louis County has ruled that nearly 80 percent of the circuit’s public defenders have caseloads that leave them unable to effectively represent their clients.

In an order issued Monday, Circuit Judge Douglas Beach proposed several solutions, including a waitlist for defendants who are not in jail and having private attorneys handle low-level felonies.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks with reporters in the Missouri Governor's Mansion on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.
File photo | Erin Achenbach I St. Louis Public Radio

Attorneys for Gov. Eric Greitens are again asking a judge to throw out the felony invasion of privacy charge against their client, saying grand jurors heard no evidence that he had committed a crime.

“In answering a grand juror’s concern about the lack of a photograph, Assistant Circuit Attorney Robert Steele, whether intentional or not, flagrantly misstated the applicable law — misleading the entire grand jury as to the essential elements of the crime on which it was asked to vote,” defense attorney James Martin wrote in a motion to dismiss filed late Monday. For that reason, he said, the charges should be dismissed.

Gov. Eric Greitens speaks to reporters in his office at the state Capitol in Jefferson City on January 22, 2018.
FIle photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Attorneys for Gov. Eric Greitens want to get his felony invasion of privacy case tried as soon as possible.

His defense team told St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison on Monday they plan to file a motion to move the trial date to April 3, from its current date of May 14. They are also planning to ask that Burlison hear the case, rather than have it go before a jury.

Carolina Hidalgo I 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 round up this week’s legal and political news surrounding Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

This week’s episodes focuses on how the governor’s allies and adversaries are trying to alter public opinion in the run up to his felony invasion of privacy trial on May 14.

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

Attorneys for Gov. Eric Greitens say St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and her team still have not turned over the photo at the center of Greitens’ felony invasion of privacy case.

“You’ll have to ask them for sure if they have a photograph, but none has been turned over to us,” defense attorney Jim Martin told reporters Thursday after a court hearing on unrelated evidentiary issues. “We’re relying on whatever they turn over. As I said, we want whatever they have.”

File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Bobby Bostic was 16 when he committed several felonies in the course of an armed robbery. Two years later, he was sentenced to 241 years in prison.

Advocates for juvenile sentencing reform say that runs contrary to earlier U.S. Supreme Court decisions limiting how harshly the courts can punish young defendants who have not killed anyone, and they are now asking the justices to weigh in.

John Collins-Muhammad, shown here in a booking photo, was arrested March 12, 2018 for outstanding traffic warrants.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

A St. Louis alderman has been arrested for a series of municipal warrants.

John Collins-Muhammad, D-21st Ward, was taken into custody Monday afternoon after rear-ending a car at a stop sign. A computer check by police investigating the accident revealed the warrants — five from the city of St. Louis and one from Jefferson City.

Gov. Eric Greitens speaks to reporters at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery on Feb. 22, 2017.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

As Gov. Eric Greitens’ legal and political future continues to dominate the headlines, Politically Speaking is launching a standalone show detailing the developments in the Missouri chief executive’s saga.

St. Louis Public Radio’s political reporters will discuss what’s going on in court, the Missouri General Assembly and the electoral arena with the governor’s case. We’ll also answer your questions about the situation.

Express Scripts headquarters
Express Scripts

Original story from 03/08/18; updated with audio from St. Louis on the Air segment on 03/09/18.

Updated at 5 p.m., with comments from an industry analyst — Health insurance giant Cigna has agreed to purchase the St. Louis-based pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts.

The deal, which has already been approved by the boards of both companies, is worth about $67 billion, according to press releases.

A volunteer with Coalition for Life St. Louis, an anti-abortion group, waves as a car exits the Planned Parenthood parking lot on Forest Park Avenue. Volunteers hand out anti-abortion pamphlets to passers-by.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated March 9 at 1:50 p.m. with second delay — Supporters of a bill that would keep protesters away from the driveway at Planned Parenthood's Central West End clinic will have one more chance to send it to Mayor Lyda Krewson.

The sponsor of the so-called "buffer zones" again delayed a vote on the bill at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen Friday because not enough "yes" votes were in attendance. The board is off until April 16, the last day of the current session If members cannot get enough votes that day, they will have to start over.

Original story from March 2

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will wait at least another week to take a final vote on additional protection for women seeking services from the Planned Parenthood clinic in the Central West End.

Kim Gardner
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

An effort to give the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office the responsibility of investigating officer-involved shootings has stalled at the Board of Aldermen.

The board’s public safety committee heard a second day of testimony on the bill Wednesday but did not vote. Because of the board’s process for approving legislation, there’s likely not enough time to send the bill to Mayor Lyda Krewson before the session ends in April.

Amazon shipping center in Edwardsville
File photo | Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Retail giant Amazon will build its first Missouri distribution center in the St. Charles County town of St. Peters.

Amazon announced its plan to build the the 800,000-square-foot warehouse in a news release Wednesday. The company expects to hire about 1,500 workers.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

A federal appeals court has OK'd the execution of a Missouri man who suffers from a medical condition he says would make the lethal injection unconstitutionally painful.

Russell Bucklew, 49, was sentenced to death in 1996 for shooting and killing a romantic rival, and kidnapping and raping his ex-girlfriend. His execution is set for March 20.

s_falkow | Flickr

The Missouri House of Representatives is considering whether private attorneys across the state should handle more cases where the defendant cannot afford a lawyer.

Currently, the state public defender's office contracts with private attorneys if there is a conflict, or, as needed, to reduce caseloads. The proposal from Rep. Robert Ross, R-Yukon, would have private attorneys handle most lower-level cases. Public defenders would still handle more serious crimes and death-penalty cases.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

The decision by a St. Louis grand jury to indict Gov. Eric Greitens for felony invasion of privacy has raised a number of legal issues.

We’ve looked at what it means politically, and what happens next in the court process. We’ve also tried to answer some of what you want to know. Here, we try to explain some of the legalese.

Gov. Greitens' booking photo from Feb. 22
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Feb. 22, 2018

Updated Feb. 23 at 9:10 a.m. with  additional comments from Kim Gardner — A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Gov. Eric Greitens for felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a semi-nude photo of a woman without her permission. Greitens was arrested Thursday afternoon, but was released without having to post bond. 

One of his attorneys, Edward Dowd, said in a statement that he plans to file a motion to dismiss the charges.

“In forty years of public and private practice, I have never seen anything like this. The charges against my client are baseless and unfounded. My client is absolutely innocent,” he said.

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