Missouri lawmakers’ investigation into Greitens indictment will take time, taxpayers’ money

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An investigation on the state legislature level into the charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is going to take time and taxpayers' money, officials say.

On Thursday, a St.Louis grand jury indicted Greitens for a felony invasion of privacy charge. It involves a photo allegedly taken of a woman Greitens had an affair with in 2015.

The Republican governor said he's innocent, but that hasn't stopped some Missouri lawmakers from discussing impeachment and calling for Greitens to resign.

“I’m deeply saddened and troubled, saddened for Gov. Greitens and his family, saddened for the state of Missouri,” said Rep. Mark Ellebracht, a Democrat from Liberty.

Since the news of Greitens' indictment broke, a special committee of Missouri lawmakers has formed to look into the claims.

“As a legislature, we will be having an investigatory committee starting next week, which will be very diligent about looking into all of these matters,” said Rep. Kevin Corlew, a Republican from Kansas City.

The committee's investigation will take time and money.

“This will cost us. As legislators, it will cost us and our staff time, paperwork and just the general things that go along with regular legislature," Ellebracht said. "We're adding another layer, adding another committee and adding another time drain onto the responsibilities of lawmakers.”

The investigation could also slow work on bigger issues that affect the average Missourian.

“We still haven't yet passed our budget out of committee, and passing the budget is the most important thing we do," Ellebracht said. "It's how we figure out how we're going to pay for the bridges that need repairs, how we're going to afford to finance the public schools."

But finances isn't the only thing that will likely be affected.

“Not only in the legislative process but also just not having the leadership at the top that we really need to advance some of these agenda items,” Corlew said.

Some lawmakers say moving forward can only be achieved through a change in leadership.

“His resignation would go a long way towards fixing a lot of the things that we see wrong with Missouri politics," Ellebracht said. "This process, this procedure that the governor has forced us now to have to contemplate is just more evidence of the culture of corruption that Jefferson City has gotten itself into.”

Greitens has given up his position in the Republican Governors Association to focus on putting this matter behind him. The governor was supposed to attend a conference with that group this weekend.