Washington, April 21 (IANS) The governor of the US state of Missouri has been indicted on a felony charge of computer tampering relating to his campaign’s alleged procurement of a non-profit donor list without the charity’s knowledge.
Governor Eric Greitens used the charity donor list to raise money for his 2016 campaign, a new blow to Greitens in a deepening political and sex scandal that threatened his grip on the governor’s office, CNN reported on Saturday.
Greitens founded the charity, The Mission Continues, to support military veterans as they readjust to civilian life.
But a probable cause statement issued by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office charged that Greitens “directed the disclosure” of “data, specifically a donor list owned by The Mission Continues, to a political fundraiser … working on behalf of Greitens for Missouri”.
The governor and his unnamed campaign aide “knew that the donor list disclosed on April 22, 2015, was taken without the permission of The Mission Continues”, the statement continued on Friday.
Greitens, a Republican who was first elected governor in the 2016 race, was already facing a different felony charge of invasion of privacy.
In January, he admitted that he had a sexual relationship with his former hairdresser while he was married. The woman has told a legislative committee that Greitens took a nude or semi-nude picture of her without her consent, then threatened to make the image public if she told anyone about their affair.
On Friday, Greitens released a statement saying he stands by his work with the charity. His attorney, Ed Dowd, said, “This charge makes no sense at all.”
“Now he’s being accused of stealing an email list from an organization he built,” Dowd askwd in a statement.
Greitens has insisted that he will not resign, however — tweeting last week that “this matter will go to a court of law — where it belongs and where the facts will prove my innocence”.