Attorneys for Gov. Eric Greitens reached out to the prosecutor in a felony computer tampering case against him to make a deal to drop the charges.
To uphold his end of the bargain, Greitens agreed to resign the post he held for less than 18 months.
He made the announcement Tuesday afternoon after giving less than an hour’s notice to media.
During the press conference Greitens said he will resign the office of governor effective Friday, June 1.
“I came to office to fight for the people of Missouri, to fight for the forgotten. I love Missouri, and I love our people. That love remains,” Greitens said in his statement. “I am thankful to all those who have worked beside me, sweated beside me, those who gave their time, their energy, their precious resources so that we could pursue our mission of taking Missouri in a new and better direction. We have accomplished a lot together. I am proud of you, and I am proud of all of our work.”
Greitens added the last few months have been incredibly difficult for him, his family, team, friends and for many people he loves.
“This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family,” Greitens said. “Millions of dollars in mounting legal bills, endless personal attacks, designed to cause maximum damage to family and friends. Legal harassment of colleagues, friends and campaign workers. And it’s clear that for the forces that oppose us, there is no end in sight. I cannot allow those forces to continue to cause pain and difficulty to the people that I love.”
Greitens admitted he was not perfect and again declared he has not broken any laws nor committed any offense worthy of this treatment.
“I will let the fairness of this process be judged by history,” he said. “It has been a great honor and a privilege to serve as your governor. Traveling the state, I have talked to many of you who harbor extraordinary anger at this ordeal and for those who have pushed and promoted it.”
The former governor cautioned supporters to allow history and God to bring justice and this was not the end of his fight because a lot of work is left undone.
“We must, as we have always done, work to improve the lives of those around us,” Greitens said. “I will always be a fighter for the people of Missouri. The time has come, though, to tend to those that have been wounded, and to care for those who need us most. So for the moment, let us walk off the battlefield with our heads held high. We have a good and proud story to tell our children. Let’s love them and each other every day.”
With that Greitens walked away from the podium and did not take any questions from reporters.
The governor’s resignation came after a plea deal was reached with St. Louis Circuit attorney Kim Gardner, which stipulated felony computer tampering charges would be dropped in return for his resignation.
In February, Greitens was charged with felony invasion of privacy stemming from an alleged semi-nude photo he took of his former mistress.
Those charges were dropped last month by Gardner and a special prosecutor is currently reviewing the evidence for possible future charges.
Just weeks after his initial arrest, additional, unrelated charges were filed, regarding questionable use of a campaign donor list from his charity The Mission Continues.
Investigations into the allegations against Greitens are also being conducted by a special Missouri House Committee on Oversight.
To allow the committee to continue its work, a special session of the Missouri Legislature began on May 18 and is currently ongoing.
In a statement Thursday, House speaker Todd Richardson said the committee will be wrapping up its current tasks in short order and the special session will be ending.