News Briefs

Ethics panel dismisses complaint alleging Greitens funneled money into Senate campaign

By: - March 11, 2022 1:52 pm

Eric Greitens addresses the media after filing to run in the Missouri Senate primary on Feb. 22, 2022, at the James C Kirkpatrick State Information Center in Jefferson City (photo by Madeline Carter).

The Missouri Ethics Commission has dismissed a complaint against former Gov. Eric Greitens accusing him of illegally using leftover money from his gubernatorial campaign committee to subsidize his quest for U.S. Senate.

The complaint, filed in October by Campaign Legal Center, alleged Greitens used money from his state account to pay his eventual Senate campaign manager, public relations firms, media consulting firms and for digital costs.

Federal law prohibits Senate candidates from using state campaign funds to support their run for federal office because state-level contributions are subject to different rules than federal-level contributions.

But the ethics commission, in a decision released Friday, determined the expenditures made by Greitens’ state campaign took place before he jumped into the Senate campaign in March 2021.

Dylan Johnson, Greitens’ campaign manager, said in an email to The Independent that it was clear from the beginning no wrongdoing ever took place.

“The truth came out today and Gov. Greitens has once again defeated the woke, radical liberals, RINOs and the weak political establishment,” Johnson said.

After only 17 months in the governor’s office, Greitens resigned in June 2018 amid accusations of violent sexual misconduct, stealing from veterans charity and illegal campaign activity.

He was also facing almost certain impeachment by the Republican-dominated General Assembly.

Nearly two years after he resigned, the Missouri Ethics Commission fined his gubernatorial campaign $178,000 — considered a record fine at the time — for failing to report spending by a federal PAC and a political nonprofit as in-kind donations.

Since jumping into the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, Greitens has consistently led in the polls in the crowded GOP primary.

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Jason Hancock
Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock has been writing about Missouri since 2011, most recently as lead political reporter for The Kansas City Star. He has spent nearly two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest, and has a track record of exposing government wrongdoing and holding elected officials accountable.