Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens leaves the podium after announcing his resignation at a news conference, Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at the state Capitol, in Jefferson City, Mo. Greitens resigned amid a widening investigation that arose from an affair with his former hairdresser. Greitens said his resignation would take effect Friday. (Julie Smith/The Jefferson City News-Tribune via AP)

The Latest: Parson: Gretiens resignation will heal state

May 29, 2018 - 8:12 pm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on allegations against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (all times local):

7:10 p.m.

Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson says the resignation of Republican Gov. Eric Greitens "will allow our state to heal and move forward from what has been a difficult time."

The Republican lieutenant governor is to take over as governor when Greitens' resignation becomes official at 5 p.m. Friday.

Greitens announced his resignation Tuesday amid multiple investigations into alleged sexual misconduct and campaign finance violations.

Parson is a former state lawmaker, Polk County sheriff and cattle farmer from Bolivar. He said in a brief written statement that he is "ready to fulfill the duties of the office with honor and integrity."

One of Parson's first duties could be to decide whether to sign or veto numerous bills passed during the recently concluded legislative session.

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6:30 p.m.

Some Missouri Republican lawmakers say they're already getting complaints from constituents about Gov. Eric Greitens' decision to resign.

Greitens' supporter Rep. Bill White said he received unhappy calls from Joplin-area residents within minutes of the governor's announcement Tuesday.

Greitens' decision came after the Missouri Legislature began meeting in special session less than two weeks ago to consider his impeachment. He faced allegations that he slapped, shoved and threatened a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair in 2015, among other claims.

White says Greitens' extramarital affair showed a character flaw. But he says Greitens had a good track record in terms of his actions as governor.

Wentzville Republican Rep. Bryan Spencer says there had been cursing in some of the upset calls he received about the governor's planned Friday departure.

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6:20 p.m.

The special prosecutor considering whether to refile an invasion of privacy charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says the investigation continues, even though the governor is resigning.

The Republican governor announced Tuesday that he will step down on Friday. A short time later, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said in a statement that her office had reached "fair and just resolution" on criminal charges against Greitens.

Gardner said only that more details would be released Wednesday.

A felony indictment in February accused Greitens of taking an unauthorized and compromising photo of a St. Louis woman during an extramarital affair in 2015

The charge was dropped earlier this month, but Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker was appointed special prosecutor to consider whether to refile it.

Baker says in a statement that the investigation is ongoing and will continue "until our work on the case is completed." She says no deals have been made by her office with Greitens' attorneys.

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6:05 p.m.

A national Republican operative says the resignation of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens could help Republicans unify before an important U.S. Senate race

Greitens announced his resignation Tuesday while facing a criminal charge and a legislative investigation that could have led to impeachment.

Some Republicans were worried that Greitens' issues could cause problems for GOP Senate candidate and state Attorney General Josh Hawley in his challenge of Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

But two people with close ties to Republican officials in Washington and Missouri told The Associated Press there was no coordinated effort to push Greitens out.

Senate Leadership Fund President Steven Law says Greitens resignation could help unify Missouri Republicans.

It also could free up money. Some donors had been approached recently to contribute to Greitens' legal defense fund.

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Associated Press writer Steve Peoples in Washington contributed to this report.

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5:50 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt says Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' resignation was "the best decision for his family and the state."

The Republican senator also said Tuesday that he looks forward to working with soon-to-be GOP Gov. Mike Parson and "will do everything I can to be helpful."

Greitens announced that he will step down Friday. The Legislature was having a special session to determine whether the House would impeach Greitens over campaign finance issues and questions about Greitens' conduct during an extramarital affair in 2015.

Parson will be elevated from lieutenant governor to governor.

Blunt previously resisted calling for Greitens' resignation, saying legal and legislative processes should run their course.

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5:40 p.m.

Two Missouri Republicans in the U.S. House say GOP Gov. Eric Greitens made the right choice in stepping down from office.

Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer and Ann Wagner spoke out after Greitens announced Tuesday that he will leave office after months of what he called "legal harassment."

The governor was facing possible impeachment. A special prosecutor was considering re-filing a criminal case related to Greitens' 2015 extramarital affair with his St. Louis hairdresser. Another criminal case accusing Greitens of using charity donor list for political purposes was pending.

It's uncertain if those cases will still move forward. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is expected to make an announcement Wednesday.

Wagner says in a statement that she has faith in Lt. Gov. Mike Parsons, who becomes governor Friday. Luetkemeyer, in a statement, says he has been "disturbed" by the allegations against Greitens, and he's hopeful the state can put the turmoil behind it.

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5:35 p.m.

Republican leaders of the Missouri Senate say the state has been severely tested during the turmoil involving Gov. Eric Greitens, and it's time to move on.

The GOP governor announced his resignation Tuesday, effective Friday afternoon. He was facing possible impeachment and potential criminal cases related to a 2015 extramarital affair and his alleged use of a charity donor list for political purposes.

Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard says in a statement that he had high hopes when Greitens took office in 2017, but now he believes the governor made the right decision in stepping down.

Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe says in a statement that the resignation announcement "marks the conclusion to a drama that has drawn on for far too long."

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5:30 p.m.

A former Missouri governor says the state's next chief executive "will be worthy of this new responsibility."

Ex-Republican Gov. Matt Blunt issued a statement Tuesday praising GOP Lt. Gov. Mike Parson.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens announced he would resign amid a scandal involving a former hairdresser in 2015 and questions about whether broke the law in financing his 2016 campaign, which means Parson will ascend to the top job.

Blunt said Parson will be dedicated to working with the Republican-controlled Legislature to move the state forward. Greitens has had a sometimes rocky relationship with lawmakers.

Blunt also noted that Parson is a former county sheriff and called Parson a "law and order leader."

Blunt served one term as Missouri's governor, from 2005 to 2009.

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5:25 p.m.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner says her office has reached a "fair and just resolution" on criminal charges against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, now that he's stepping down. But, she says, details won't be released until Wednesday.

The Republican governor announced his resignation Tuesday, blaming "legal harassment" for his troubles.

Gardner launched an investigation after Greitens admitted to a 2015 affair with his St. Louis hairdresser. The investigation led to a felony indictment in February on invasion of privacy, accusing Greitens of taking an unauthorized and compromising photo of the woman.

The charge was dropped earlier this month, but a special prosecutor has been considering whether to refile it.

In April, Greitens was charged with another felony in St. Louis for allegedly using a charity donor list for political purposes.

Gardner said in a statement that the last several months have been difficult. She didn't say if one or both of the charges will be dropped. A spokeswoman for Gardner declined comment beyond the statement.

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5:10 p.m.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley says Gov. Eric Greitens "has done the right thing" by announcing his resignation.

Greitens made the surprise announcement Tuesday, as the Legislature considered impeachment over issues related to the governor's extramarital affair with his St. Louis hairdresser in 2015 and his alleged use of a charity donor list for campaign purposes.

His resignation will be effective at 5 p.m. Friday.

Hawley, like Greitens a Republican, said in a brief statement that he wished Lt. Gov. Mike Parson well as he prepares to make the transition to governor. Hawley says he stands ready to assist in the transition.

Hawley is running to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

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4:55 p.m.

Republican leaders in the Missouri House say GOP Gov. Eric Greitens has "put the best interest" of the state's residents first in deciding to resign.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr, and Majority Leader Rob Vescovo issued a joint statement Tuesday, moments after Greitens announced he was stepping down Friday.

They said as public servants, their duty is to put the best interests of the people first and, "The Governor's decision today honors that duty and allows Missouri to move forward."

The three leaders also pledged to help ensure a smooth transition to power for Lt. Gov. Mike Parson as he takes over for Greitens.

They also thanked members of a special House investigatory committee and said for their "serious and professional" manner.

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4:50 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he is resigning after months of what he called "legal harassment."

The Republican governor made the startling announcement Tuesday. He will resign effective 5 p.m. Friday.

The resignation comes amid a special session in which the state Legislature is considering impeachment. Two potential criminal cases against Greitens remain unresolved.

Greitens said in a brief statement that the past few months have been "incredibly difficult" for him, his family and friends. He says that while he has made mistakes, he has broken no laws.

A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens on Feb. 22 on one felony count of invasion of privacy. The charge was dismissed earlier this month, but a special prosecutor was considering whether to refile charges. Prosecutors say Greitens took a compromising photo of a woman with whom he had an affair without her consent in 2015, before his election.

Greitens also was charged in April for allegedly using a charity donor list for political purposes.

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4:30 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has resigned amid criminal and legislative investigations stemming from an extramarital affair and campaign finance questions.

The 44-year-old Rhodes Scholar and ex-Navy SEAL made the announcement Tuesday. The resignation takes effect Friday.

A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens on Feb. 22 on one felony count of invasion of privacy. The charge was dismissed during jury selection, but a special prosecutor was considering whether to refile charges. Prosecutors say he took a compromising photo of a woman with whom he had an affair without her consent in 2015, before his election.

The woman told a legislative committee Greitens restrained, slapped, shoved and threatened her during sexual encounters.

The Missouri Legislature began meeting in special session less than two weeks ago to consider impeachment.

Greitens has denied criminal wrongdoing.

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3:50 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who is facing possible impeachment over an extramarital affair and allegations of misuse of a charity donor list, will make a statement late Tuesday afternoon.

A spokesman for the Republican first-term governor says Greitens will make a statement at 4:15 p.m. in the governor's office. Spokesman Parker Briden did not offer any further details.

The announcement came the same day Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ruled that a secret group supporting Greitens, A New Missouri, must turn over correspondence and documents showing potential coordination between Greitens, his campaign committee and A New Missouri.

He also ordered it turn over documents on communications and expenditures by A New Missouri related to media advertising.

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2:45 p.m.

An attorney for a secretive group supporting Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is considering appealing a judge's order for the group to comply with a legislative subpoena seeking documents.

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ruled Tuesday that A New Missouri must turn over correspondence and documents showing potential coordination between Greitens, his campaign committee and A New Missouri.

He also ordered it turn over documents on communications and expenditures by A New Missouri related to media advertising.

Attorney Catherine Hanaway represents both Greitens' campaign and A New Missouri. Hanaway said she was pleased Beetem allowed the redaction of donors' names from the documents it must turn over. She said an appeal is under consideration.

The House committee is weighing whether to recommend Greitens' impeachment for alleged campaign finance violations.

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12:15 p.m.

A Republican consultant is testifying about efforts by Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to lay the groundwork for a political campaign long before Greitens officially created a fundraising committee.

Consultant Michael Hafner was testifying Tuesday before a Missouri House investigatory committee considering whether to pursue impeachment proceedings against the Republican governor.

Committee members questioned Hafner about emails he had written and received arranging meetings for Greitens with potential donors and campaign vendors in 2014. Greitens didn't formally launch a candidate exploratory committee until February 2015.

Hafner said Greitens' promotional company paid him more than $500 for political work before Greitens' political committee was formed.

State law requires candidates to form committees when they raise or spend more than $500.

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10:45 a.m.

A judge says a secretive group supporting Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens must turn over documents subpoenaed by a legislative committee trying to determine whether to bring impeachment proceedings against the Republican governor.

The ruling Tuesday by Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem applies to an organization called A New Missouri, a social welfare nonprofit created shortly after Greitens took office in order to support his agenda.

A House investigatory committee is seeking communications and documents showing potential coordination between Greitens, his campaign committee and A New Missouri. It also is seeking documents on communications and expenditures by A New Missouri related to media advertising.

An attorney for Greitens' campaign and A New Missouri argued that the subpoena was beyond the scope of the committee's investigation.

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