In the wake of Gov. Eric Greitens’ announcement Tuesday that he is resigning, attention surrounding the governor’s office was split between preparations for the state’s incoming governor and investigation of the circumstances that precipitated Greitens’ abrupt departure.
Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, who will become the state’s 57th governor, spent Wednesday readying for his new role with “a non-stop series of meetings and phone calls,” according to statement from Parson’s office.
Parson, 62, contrasts with his predecessor in a couple of key ways. For one, while Greitens hailed himself a political outsider and had not held elected office prior to being voted in as governor, Parson has years of experience as a Missouri lawmaker, having served in the House from 2005 to 2011 and in the Senate from 2011 to 2017.
Additionally, while Greitens proposed budget cuts for higher education in Missouri, Parson has expressed support for the state’s colleges and universities.
Parson, whose family owns and operates a cow and calf farm in Polk County, was elected to his current office in 2016. He was sheriff of Polk County from 1993 to 2005 and spent six years before that in the army.
A deal and two subpoenas
After months of digging in despite mounting legal trouble and calls for his resignation, Greitens announced his departure after his attorneys brokered a deal: he would resign if St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner would drop a felony computer tampering charge against him.
Greitens announced his resignation Tuesday, and Gardner held up her end of the bargain Wednesday.
The governor also faced two subpoenas that may be made moot by his resignation.
Hours before Greitens’ announcement Tuesday, a Cole County judge ordered the governor’s political nonprofit, A New Missouri Inc., to submit communications and documents that some lawmakers thought could provide evidence of efforts to circumvent campaign disclosure laws.
Several sources said donors to the nonprofit had been panicking over having their identities revealed, The Kansas City Star reports.
Additionally, Republican lawmakers were adamant that Greitens abide by a separate subpoena to testify before the House special committee that has been investigating him for months.