Kansas City, Mo. (May 17, 2019) – Yesterday, the office of unelected Attorney General Eric Schmitt issued a press release indicating that no action will be taken following his investigation of violations of the Missouri Sunshine Law by the office of former Governor Eric Greitens. However, Schmitt’s press release suggests that his office’s review turned up evasive practices that warranted a joint memorandum of best practices with the office of the new Governor, Mike Parson.
Schmitt’s evening news dump continued his pattern of dodging tough issues, by having a subordinate attorney give the official comment on behalf of his Attorney General’s Office.
Missouri Democratic Party Executive Director Lauren Gepford released the following statement:
“This is a troubling sign as Eric Schmitt is currently reviewing the Parson Administration’s compliance with the Sunshine Law as it relates to an official opinion request from Auditor Nicole Galloway. If the result of a review of ‘thousands and thousands’ of documents found no violations of the Sunshine Law then there should be no need for memos encouraging changes in records policy. Schmitt should remember that he works for the people of Missouri, not the Governor who appointed him to his current job. ”
“Missouri AG will take no action over Greitens social media use, closes investigation” (Kansas City Star, 5/17/2019)
“After more than a year investigating whether former Gov. Eric Greitens improperly used taxpayer-funded staff to create content for his campaign’s social media accounts, the Missouri attorney general’s office said Thursday the inquiry was over and no action would be taken.”
On the tough issues, Schmitt dodges questions:
“New Missouri attorney general won’t say if he is investigating Hawley for Sunshine Law violations” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2/4/2019)
“A spokesman for Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt declined to say Monday whether the office is investigating U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley or his staff for possibly breaking the state’s Sunshine Law.”
Missouri’s unelected Attorney General joins legal effort to eliminate insurance coverage for Missourians with pre-existing health conditions” (Missouri Democrats, 5/2/2019)
“Schmitt should end his pattern of declining comment on this issue and explain to the public why he decided to join Missouri with this legal effort at the taxpayers’ expense.”
At some point, Schmitt must weigh-in on Parson’s own compliance with the Sunshine Law:
“Missouri auditor: AG must decide if 1st Amendment can be used to redact public records” (Kansas City Star, 5/7/2019)
“Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway has formally requested the attorney general’s office determine whether Gov. Mike Parson’s use of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to withhold records from public disclosure violates the Sunshine Law.”