(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) Speaking from the floor of the Senate chambers at the State Capitol on Tuesday, Sen. Rob Schaaf gave a blistering critique of how Governor Eric Greitens is handling the now-public knowledge that he had an extra-marital affair prior to becoming governor.
The Republican from St. Joseph tore into Greitens, saying, "You (Greitens) have defined yourself by scandal and covering things up."
Greitens, also a Republican, is also alleged to have taken compromising photographs of the woman he had an affair with and threatened her he would release the photos if she ever spoke of their relationship. There are now reports out that an attorney who works in the governor's office, Lucinda Luetkemeyer, was gathering information and conducting interviews in an effort to control any possible fallout from the news.
"You have used the resources of your office, staff time paid for by taxpayer dollars to try and hide from the people of Missouri these most recent allegations."
Luetkemeyer is the wife of Tony Luetkemeyer, a Republican from Parkville, who is running to replace Schaaf in his 34th District Senate seat. Schaaf is leaving at the end of this session due to term limits.
"Her salary is being paid for by the taxpayers," Schaaf continued. "No matter how you spin it, you can not escape the stench of cover-up."
Later he added, "It's clear that a massive effort is being made to spin what happened and make it seem legal. But, the people of Missouri will not be convinced."
Schaaf raised concerns that the growing scandal has already affected legislators' ability to govern. He pointed to the General Assembly putting aside ethics reform discussion because of what he called the "dark cloud," of the Greitens affair. Schaaf also noted that Greitens himself has postponed the rollout of his state income tax reform plan.
Late Tuesday night, Greitens released a statement admitting to making a personal mistake but that many of the assertions made against him have not been truthful and that they have been hurtful to both himself and his wife, Sheena. He asked for privacy for everyone involved.