JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – If there’s any indicator that the Governor is preparing for a long and drawn out process regarding the investigation into the allegations surrounding him, an almost assured test would be to check for a legal defense fund.
And, as it turns out, such a fund has recently been created and registered with the Secretary of State’s Office.
Documents filed on Friday, March 2, show that supporters of Gov. Eric Greitens have filed the paperwork to establish a nonprofit corporation, which is titled the “ERG Defense Fund,” with ERG referencing Eric Robert Greitens, the current Republican governor of Missouri.
Such a fund would be created in order to finance the legal costs that will be accrued by the Governor, who has been indicted on a felony charge of invasion of privacy.
The ERG Defense Fun looks to be established as a 527 organization, meaning it can raise unlimited funds from organizations, individuals, or corporations, but must register with the IRS and disclose both contributions and expenditures.
The fund lists five people on its board:
- Sean Droke, Director and President
- Ron Weiser, Director
- Shane Mayes, Director
- Tom Reedy, Treasurer
- Nancy Reinkemeyer, Secretary
Droke previously served on Greitens’ campaign leadership team and on the inauguration committee.
Weiser’s listed address is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he serves as the chairman of the Michigan GOP. He also served as the former finance chairman for the Republican National Committee.
Mayes is the CEO of Onshore Outsourcing, and has been reported to have allowed the Republican governor to use a private jet while touring the state for his tax cut plan.
The move comes just a short while after the law firm representing the Governor in a criminal investigation hired a lobbyist to work in the Capitol.
Aaron Baker of Axiom Strategies disclosed to the Missouri Ethics Commission back in February that he is lobbying on behalf of Dowd Bennett, who is representing the governor.
The news of the fund also arrives on the same day that it was announced that the House panel investigating Greitens’ extramarital affair and allegations of blackmail would be meeting for the first time on Tuesday.
The Special Investigative Committee on Oversight is scheduled to meet Tuesday evening in House Hearing Room 5 for an organizational meeting, the first step in beginning their investigative proceedings.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.