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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens resigns

02 June 2018

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens announced his resignation Tuesday evening from his office in Jefferson City.

Lt. Gov. Mike Parson will be sworn in as Missouri's governor after Eric Greitens resigns on Friday.

Greitens said during a news conference that "the last few months have been incredibly hard".

"While I cannot force Mr. Greitens to take personal accountability for his actions, there are things I can do", she said.

The 44-year-old governor made the announcement almost 17 months after taking the oath of the office with a pledge to root out "corrupt career politicians".

Greitens' other scandal involved allegations of an extramarital affair and felony invasion of privacy, but Gardner's office got embarrassed by investigatorial incompetence and withdrew the charge.

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In April, Greitens was charged with another felony in St. Louis for allegedly using a charity donor list for political purposes. Ms. Gardner had said at the time that she would consider handing the case over to a special prosecutor.

Greitens' resignation also allows him to avoid the potentially dubious distinction of becoming the first Missouri governor ever impeached. That prompted the Missouri House to form a special investigatory committee.

The heat on Greitens remained as legislative leaders said the move would not impact their decision to potentially pursue impeachment.

"Millions of dollars of mounting legal bills, endless personal attacks created to cause maximum damage to family and friends, legal harassment of colleagues, friends and campaign workers, and it's clear that for the forces that oppose us, there's no end in sight". The charge was dismissed during jury selection, but a special prosecutor was considering whether to refile charges.

"No matter what they throw at me, no matter how painful they try to make it, no matter how much suffering they want to put me and my family through and my team through. we are going to step forward day after day after day, and we are going to continue in our mission to fight for the people of Missouri", Greitens said then.

A spokeswoman for Gardner says the office agreed to drop the computer tampering charge after his attorneys suggested he would resign if the case was dismissed.

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Eventually, the scandal also unspooled into a separate case looking into the illegal use of a charity donor list to raise campaign funds. One of the open stipulations states that Greitens has agreed to release Gardner and everyone in her office from civil liability.

"I will let the fairness of this process be judged by history", he said.

Greitens said his resignation would take effect Friday.

The governor was indicted in February with invasion of privacy, but the charge was dropped this month, with the proviso that it could be re-filed.

The 44-year-old Greitens was a political novice when elected governor in 2016. Greitens had hoped to be acquitted, which Roe said would have allowed him to mount a full defense against the potential House impeachment proceedings.

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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens resigns