New Governor Takes Over in Missouri After Scandal

FILE – In this Aug. 17, 2017, file photo, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, left, talks to Lt. Gov. Mike Parson at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo. Greitens abruptly announced his resignation Tuesday, May 29, 2018, after a scandal involving an affair with his former hairdresser led to a broader investigation by prosecutors and state legislators. The resignation takes effect Friday. His departure elevates fellow Republican Parson to the governor’s office. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson will be sworn in as Missouri’s 57th governor in a low-key event in the governor’s office early Friday evening, three days after the embattled Eric Greitens said he would step down.

Parson, a 62-year-old Republican, will replace Greitens, who announced Tuesday his resignation effective Friday at 5 p.m. Parson is expected to be sworn in around 5:30 p.m.

Greitens’ resignation is part of a deal to drop a felony computer tampering charge in St. Louis Circuit Court based on allegations his campaign used a charity donor list.

He was also facing an invasion of privacy charge stemming from claims that he blackmailed a former mistress during an affair he admitted to. Prosecutors dropped that charge at the beginning of trial after the judge ruled that St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner could be called as a witness.

Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker has been named as a special prosecutor relating to the privacy charge and her office is still investigating whether there is enough evidence to refile.

Parson has not made any public appearances or statements since learning he was taking over for Greitens, a fellow Republican.

He has spoken to U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, and all eight members of Missouri’s congressional delegation.

Parson has also spoken to Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, State Auditor Nicole Galloway and Attorney General Josh Hawley, as well as St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Kansas City Mayor Sly James, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Greitens ended his tenure in a flurry, taking action on 77 bills sent to him by lawmakers since he announced his resignation, including a cut in the corporate income tax rate and new rules for how utility companies are regulated.

He also pardoned five people and commuted four other sentences.

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