Missouri Won't Pay The Lawyers Greitens Had Secured Over Possible Impeachment
Updated 1:45 p.m. June 15, 2018, with new amount due — The state of Missouri won't pay more than $120,000 to two attorneys former Gov. Eric Greitens' office hired ahead of possible impeachment proceedings, the state Office of Administration said Thursday.
Office of Administration Commissioner Sarah Steelman said in a letter that it appears the primary beneficiary of the attorneys' work was Greitens himself and that the governor's office "at most received incidental benefits" from the attorneys' services. Greitens also had attorneys representing him in his personal capacity.
The Office of Administration initally said Eddie Greim of the Kansas City-based firm Graves Garrett billed $118,000 and Connecticut-based attorney Ross Garber bill $64,000. But on Friday, the agency said in an email that it "overstated the amount claimed due" because Greim had sent two invoices two weeks apart with the same amount. Dividing in half the amount Steelman claimed in her letter of $118,067.49 shows Greim's invoice is $59,033.75.
Greim told KCUR in an email Thursday night that the state agency was "under a clear legal duty to approve payment," and that he hasn't been in contact with the Office of Administration.
Greim provided an example of his work: "I accepted a subpoena that the House of Representatives directed to the Governor’s Office — not to the Governor personally — and worked with Mr. Garber on a response, which consisted of a production of official staff emails and a memorandum outlining the response of the Office. This and other work was on behalf of the Office of the Governor, not Eric Greitens personally."
Greim also said he doesn't believe the state will have all officeholders "personally find and pay their own lawyers when they receive demands for official records maintained by the state," and that the agency will "approve the payment, as it is required to do under Missouri law" once it talks with him and Garber.
Garber told the AP that it looks like the attorneys are caught in a "politically motivated fight."
Steelman is a former Republican state treasurer and senator who was appointed administration commissioner by Greitens when he took office as governor in 2017. She has continued to serve in the role under Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who ascended from the lieutenant governor's office after Greitens resigned June 1.
KCUR's Lisa Rodriguez contributed to this report.