Tracking devices found on cars of two of Missouri governor’s top aides, prompting investigation

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FILE – In this Aug. 6, 2020 file photo, Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson speaks during a news conference in St. Louis. Gov. Parson, a former sheriff running for reelection on a law-and-order platform against Nicole Galloway, Missouri’s state auditor. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s office said law enforcement authorities are investigating after tracking devices were placed on the vehicles of two administration officials.

The devices were found on the vehicles of Drew Erdmann, Missouri’s chief operating officer, and Sarah Steelman, commissioner of the Office of the Administration, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday.

The Office of Administration procures goods and services for the state, while the chief operating officer oversees the management and distribution of state resources.

“Unfortunately, a governor staff member and cabinet member were victims of potential criminal activity that was tied to their roles as public servants,” Parson spokeswoman Kelli Jones said in a statement. “The harassing behavior was immediately reported to authorities. We are complying fully with the investigation and hope to hold those responsible accountable.”

Mike Bland, a private investigator, said Friday he put the devices on the vehicles as part of a job for John Wall, who is affiliated with Asymmetric Solutions. It bills itself as providing security, private policing and intelligence support for the military, law enforcement and civilians.

Bland said he had done background checks for Wall before but he was not sure what Wall wanted with the information collected from Erdmann and Steelman. Bland said he was interviewed by the Missouri Highway Patrol in August and the FBI in October about the devices.

Erdmann and Steelman were both hired in 2017 by former Gov. Eric Greitens, a former Navy Seal who was shown in a Facebook post in 2017 posing with employees of Assymmetric Solutions at a military competition.

Greitens, a Republican, who resigned in July 2018 under a cloud of scandal.

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