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Gov. Eric Greitens announced in late May that he would resign after facing months of political and legal scandals.The saga started in January, when KMOV released a recording of a woman saying Greitens took a compromising photo of her during a sexual encounter and threatened to blackmail her.A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens in February on felony invasion of privacy. The woman testified to lawmakers that Greitens sexually and physically abused her, spurring bipartisan calls for his resignation or impeachment.The invasion of privacy charge was eventually dropped by St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office following a series of prosecutorial missteps before the trial began. Greitens was also accused of illegally obtaining a donor list from the veterans non-profit he co-founded with his political campaign, but that charge, too, was dismissed as part a deal that led to his resignation as governor.

Politically Speaking: As Greitens steps aside, Missouri faces new political chapter

Gov. Eric Greitens walks back into the Civil Courts Building in downtown St. Louis after delivering a statement to reporters. May 14, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Gov. Eric Greitens walks back into the Civil Courts Building in downtown St. Louis after delivering a statement on May 14 to reporters.

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann reflect on Gov. Eric Greitens’ decision to resign from office.

The move marks a stunning end to what appeared to be a fast-rising political career that began with presidential ambitions and ended with a wave of scandal.

Greitens announced on Tuesday that he would step down at 5 p.m. on Friday. It came amid two separate criminal charges and an increasing likelihood that the Missouri House would impeach him. And it also came after a Cole County judge ruled that Greitens had to turn over documents about A New Missouri, a politically-active nonprofit that’s attacked Greitens’ opponents without revealing its donors.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker is still looking into allegations of sexual misconduct against the woman with whom Greitens had an affair. But as a part of a deal for him to resign, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner dropped felony computer data tampering charges related to how Greitens obtained a fundraising list from The Mission Continues.

With Greitens departing, Lt. Gov. Mike Parson will take over as governor. Unlike Greitens, Parson has extensive experience in local and state government — and members of both parties hope he can deal with Missouri’s vexing problems.

Some of the topics talked about on this show include:

  • Reaction to Greitens’ resignation from lawmakers.
  • A breakdown on why Gardner dropped The Mission Continues charges.
  • Why lawmakers are still interested in finding out about “dark money” that helped and hurt Greitens.
  • Some of the broader takeaways from five months that upended Missouri politics.

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

Music: “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire

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