Missouri Ethics Panel Finds Greitens Followed Election Laws

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ state campaign did not violate state campaign finance laws by spending money on his U.S. Senate bid an oversight agency ruled Friday.

Washington-based nonprofit campaign finance watchdog group Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission in December 2021 claiming that Greitens was using leftover funds from his gubernatorial bid to kickstart his U.S. Senate campaign.

Greitens resigned as governor in 2018 amid a sex scandal and claims of campaign finance misconduct. He’s now running for retiring U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt’s seat in a crowded GOP primary.

Greitens, a prolific fundraiser during his 2016 gubernatorial bid, had more than $1 million left in his state campaign committee bid when he stepped down. State campaign funds cannot be used for federal campaigns.

But the Missouri Ethics Commission found that payments made by Greitens’ state campaign committee after Greitens announced his U.S. Senate intentions in March 2020 were for services provided in 2020 or services specifically for the state campaign.

For example, the Campaign Legal Center had claimed Greitens’ state campaign committee spent $7,500 on media services March 20, 2021 that was used to book him March 22, 2021, on Fox News for his federal campaign announcement. The Ethics Commission instead found that the March 10 payment was for services provided to the state campaign back in August 2020.

“It was clear from the beginning no wrongdoing ever took place,” Greitens’ Senate campaign manager Dylan Johnson said in a statement Friday.

An Associated Press request for comment to the Campaign Legal Center was not immediately returned Friday.