Haefner calls for Greitens to resign


Gov. Eric Greitens, left, talks to south county resident and former Rep. Earlene Judd in St. Louis County the day before he was inaugurated earlier this year. Photo by Gloria Lloyd.

By Gloria Lloyd
Staff Reporter

Marsha Haefner

The pressure on Gov. Eric Greitens to resign after allegations of blackmail intensified last week, with perhaps the strongest-worded statement coming from a south county Republican.
The governor is under criminal investigation by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner for claims that he tried to blackmail the unnamed hairstylist he had an affair with before he officially announced his run for governor in 2015.
Greitens admitted the affair, but denied any blackmail.
Perhaps the strongest statement from a member of either party came Jan. 16 from Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-Oakville, who said Greitens had lost the credibility needed to run the state and should step down.
“I find no pleasure in saying this, but I believe Gov. Greitens is no longer fit to hold Missouri’s highest office,” Haefner said in a statement.
“When a man cheats on his wife, it’s a family matter,” she said. “When the governor of Missouri cheats, then allegations of victimizing his mistress, blackmail, bribes and his taxpayer-funded employee involves herself in questioning the attorney for the accuser follow, it becomes a state matter.”
The reluctance of Republicans to come to his defense can mostly be chalked up to Greitens’ frequent chiding of legislators, calling them “career politicians” who “need to go to summer school” when he called them back for two special sessions last year.
But it also stems from the questions that have followed Greitens around during his first year in office, including his refusal to disclose “dark money” campaign donors while calling for campaign and lobbyist reform and other questions surrounding the transparency of his administration, Haefner said.
“The ‘dark money’ and an investigation for the possible breach of Sunshine Laws regarding the practice of destroying texts are troubling, at best,” Haefner wrote. “Now there is the criminal investigation in St Louis. He no longer has the trust and support of many in the Legislature. We have to work as a team to accomplish what citizens expect us to do, but our leader is now ineffective. Missourians deserve better. There is too much at stake.”