Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens may have declared “victory” too soon.
On Monday, Judge Rex Burlison announced that he’ll appoint a special prosecutor to consider re-filing the blackmail charges against Greitens that were abruptly dropped by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner last week, according to the Kansas City Star. The special prosecutor has not yet been named.
Greitens, a Republican, was accused of taking a nonconsensual nude photo of his then-lover and using it to blackmail her into silence about their relationship. Gardner dropped the case last Monday after Burlison agreed to allow the defense to call her as a witness to testify about alleged errors made by members of her team. Gardner said Burlison’s decision made it untenable for her to continue the prosecution.
In his ruling, Burlison prohibited Gardner “from any further involvement in this matter.”
In response, Greitens held an impromptu press conference on the courthouse steps, where he called himself a “changed man” and said he was ready to put the matter behind him. He has admitted to the affair but denied any criminal wrongdoing.
The embattled governor also faces a separate felony charge of computer tampering brought by Gardner’s office in April, as well as possible impeachment by the Missouri legislature.