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MEC fines Greitens $178K; former governor says he’s ‘exonerated’

   

Former Gov. Eric Greitens has agreed to pay $38,000 as part of a settlement with the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC), his lawyers said Thursday. Regulators had initially levied a more than $178,000 fine for two campaign finance reporting violations. 

The MEC’s order followed a July 2018 complaint that included a litany of allegations, from concealing donors to accepting contributions in excess of allowable limits. The complaint included 235 pages along with an additional 8,500 documents and up to 10,000 pages of information gathered from subpoenas, the MEC said. 

Of everything detailed in the complaint, the MEC highlighted two reporting violations. It said it “found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of” Greitens specifically and did not conclude that he was aware of the violations. 

The two violations were failure to report in-kind contributions by the Greitens for Missouri committee. One stemmed from the LG PAC’s media buy; the other pertained to polling data paid for by A New Missouri. 

Despite the reporting violations, Greitens and his legal team insisted the former governor — who resigned as Missouri’s chief executive in June 2018 as he faced sexual misconduct allegations and threats of impeachment — insisted he had been “exonerated.” 

“It’s good to have been exonerated, and I’m glad to have been vindicated,” Greitens, a Republican, said in a statement. “I’m grateful that the truth has won out, but this was never really about me — they launched this attack because we were fighting for the people of Missouri.” 

Charlie Spies, an attorney for Greitens with the Detroit-based Dickinson Wright PLLC, said the former governor “personally had no knowledge” of the issues during a call with reporters. He also said “the campaign does not believe it did anything wrong in the first place, but it makes more sense to settle” given the cost of litigating in court. 

The former governor’s lawyers said Greitens has agreed to pay the $38,000 laid out in the MEC’s consent order. It has not been paid yet, but will be done so in a “timely” manner, lawyers said.

Greitens has 45 days to pay the settlement fee and cannot commit any additional campaign finance wrongdoing. 

The consent order also stipulates Greitens For Missouri cannot transfer funds to any other candidate committee for two years.

Read the MEC’s full order below. 

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