More fallout from Gov. Greitens’ admission of an affair

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – People in Jefferson City are still talking about Governor Eric Greitens’ admission to having an affair and some lawmakers said they’ve been hearing from their constituents regarding additional accusations of blackmail.

Democrat Doug Beck, who represents the Affton area, said he’s received a few emails from constituents concerning the governor.

“They were asking him to resign,” he said. “They were basically telling me that I need to force him to resign, which I don’t have the power or ability.”

Beck said there should be due process and people should wait until the circuit attorney’s investigation of the governor is complete before any decisions are made. He said people need to also consider the woman, who had the affair with Greitens.

“She’s never come forward,” he said. “I think we have to respect her privacy.”

According to the legislative library, only two other Missouri governors have resigned: Daniel Dunklin in 1836 and Trusten Polk in 1857. Dunklin left office three months early to serve as Surveyor General of Missouri and Illinois, while Polk resigned approximately six weeks into his first term to be a US Senator.

In both instances, neither man was forced out because of political problems.

On the Republican side, Senator Paul Wieland, who represents folks in Jefferson County, said he wants to wait until the investigation is complete before there’s any talk of resignation.

“If the investigation turns up anything, any more credible accusations, he needs to seriously take a look,” he said.

Wieland said the Greitens scandal does add another layer of drama to the passage of bills this session, but he’s hopeful it won’t affect lawmakers’ duties.

“I don’t think most of the legislators are going to say, ‘I’m going to vote against something I think is philosophically correct just because I’m mad at the governor.’ I don’t see them being that petty. I think we’re above that,” he said.

Were Greitens to call it quits, Lt. Governor Mike Parson would take over for the remainder of the term. However, there’s a question regarding the authority of appointing the new lieutenant governor in such cases.