It was a chaotic scene in Jefferson City, Missouri on Tuesday when embattled Missouri Governor Eric Greitens announced his resignation after months of controversy.
The resignation will officially take effect on Friday, June 1 at 5 pm. It is believed that the current lieutenant governor, Mike Parson, will take his place as head of the state. The Republican Greitens has been the subject of growing scandal and controversy over much of his term. Most serious among the allegations is the that the governor had engaged in sexual misconduct. In January, Greitens admitted to the extramarital affair but denied the blackmail allegations thrown against him. Most recently, Greitens was indicted on a felony computer-tampering charge that claimed he had misused a donor list for his own gain. He was also indicted for felony invasion of privacy, although that charge was dropped shortly after the indictment.
Shortly after Greitens’ resignation announcement, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner said that the state had reached a fair resolution against the governor and that more information on this deal would be made available to the public on Wednesday.
The Republican party had a lot of hopes resting on the shoulders of Greitens when he first took office in Jefferson City. Seen as one of the party’s young rising stars, things quickly began to unravel for him. The escalating controversies caused many top Republican leaders to call on Greitens to step down.
In his resignation speech, Greitens cited growing legal bills totaling millions of dollars in addition to personal attacks against his family and colleagues as the top reasons in his decision to resign. Greitens did not take questions from reporters following his news conference, nor did he address the escalating belief that he would be facing impeachment if he had remained in office.