JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Testimony in the House committee’s investigation is causing a private university to look into how Gov. Eric Greitens used grant money he was awarded.
Washington University in St. Louis become aware of the potential misuses of fund following the public release of the second report from the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight along with hundreds of pages of source documents and testimony.
Former Greitens aide Danny Laub told the Attorney General’s Office — which conducted the interview — that he got paid by both Greitens and a grant in early 2015 as he promoted one of Greitens’ books while working to launch the now-governor’s political campaign.
Administered by Washington University the grant, from John Templeton Foundation, is prohibited from being used to influence the outcome of any specific public election.
The St. Louis Dispatch reported Greitens won the grant worth $362,000 in 2010 for his book “Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life.”
During his testimony, Laub was asked if he was paid by Washington University. He said, “Yes. I received two checks from this grant.”
Records made public Wednesday afternoon of Laub’s interview indicate he received two checks of $3,250 from Washington University in early 2015 that were funded through the grant.
Laub was also asked if the grant was for Greitens’ book. “I believe so. I wasn’t intimately involved in that process, but I believe so,” Laub responded. He understood the Greitens could spend the grants on “‘Resilience’-related things” but recognized he knew little about the actual details.
While Greitens was promoting his book, other political related meetings would be set up for the same cities.
“So when he was in New York or when he was in California and he was doing media hits, that he could also set up national donor meetings,” Laub testified.
“The thought was to have them doing a little bit of work on his book tour to see how they performed.”
Washington University’s vice chancellor for campus communication said the take “accountability seriously” and they are “looking into the matter to ensure the funds were used appropriately.”
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at email@example.com.