JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Just weeks after the Missouri Ethics Commission had been hobbled due to the lack of a quorum, Gov. Eric Greitens has announced two picks to join the commission.
The embattled Republican Governor on Friday announced his appointing of Wayne Henke and Bill Birkes to the Missouri Ethics Commission.
Henke, of Troy, is a former State Representative, serving in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2003 to 2007. He previously served as the Lincoln County Assessor and on the Silex R-1 School Board. Henke earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Henke, a Democrat, was nominated by the Third Congressional District Democratic Committee.
Birkes, of Joplin, is retired from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, where he worked as an Information Specialist and Financial Analyst. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Webb City and Carl Junction. Birkes earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Missouri State University. Birkes, a Republican, was nominated by the Seventh Congressional District Republican Committee.
Some lawmakers have expressed concerns about the Governor picking members of a board that would deal with complaints against him, and the move comes after the Senate moved to drop the commission’s membership from six to four, changing the number needed for a quorum to three, the exact number of members currently seated.
Without a quorum, the commission is unable to take up any actions, including any actions on complaints, including those against the Governor. a complaint filed in March by former Democratic Party chairman Roy Temple accuses the governor of two misdeeds involving the charity he founded, The Mission Continues.
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.