Pedroli argues Greitens leaving office doesn’t absolve him of alleged crime

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — In less than two weeks, a judge will hear arguments on whether or not to compel answers from the Office of the Governor on “basic” question on the use of a message destroying app.

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem scheduled a hearing on a motion of compel for June 19, 2018 at 9 a.m. in the open records and record retention lawsuit against then-Gov. Eric Greitens in his official capacity as Missouri’s Governor. The hearing is expected to last a couple hours.

While the two sides were arguing over the verification of the answers submitted by the defense last week, the issue of just who the defendant was in the case got a little mucky.

Mark Pedroli, attorney for Ben Sansone, who filed the lawsuit, argued that verification on the data only from the Office of Administrations was not enough and that Greitens needs to affirm the information, too. The attorney for the governor’s office, Robert Thomas, argued that Greitens in no longer the governor.

At which point, Beetem asked Pedroli if the case was against Greitens or the Office of the Governor. Greitens could be added to the case as a defendant, however, the Sunshine Law wouldn’t apply to him in the capacity of a citizen.

Pedroli said Greitens was sued in his official capacity as governor for the destruction of public records and leaving office does not absolve him of that alleged crime. They are not planning on adding Greitens, in his capacity as a citizen, at this time but mentioned Greitens now becomes a witness in the lawsuit.

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