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Missouri court sides with former Gov. Greitens on message-deleting app

A St. Louis attorney sued Greitens in 2017 over use of the Confide app by the governor’s office. The app deletes messages after the recipient reads them.
Credit: AP
FILE - Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and 2022 U.S. Senate candidate speaks at the Taney County Lincoln Day event April 17, 2021, at the Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Mo. Greitens is banking on Republican voters forgiving his past indiscretions when they choose a U.S. Senate nominee next August. (Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri appeals court on Tuesday ruled that former Gov. Eric Greitens didn’t violate open records laws by using a message-deleting app to chat with his staff.

The Western District Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling in Greitens’ favor, the Kansas City Star reported.

A St. Louis attorney sued Greitens in 2017 over use of the Confide app by the governor’s office. The app deletes messages after the recipient reads them.

Greitens resigned 2018 in the face of possible impeachment and allegations of sexual and political misconduct. He’s now running for U.S. Senate.

St. Louis attorney Ben Sansone argued use of the app violated Missouri open-records laws, which are designed to ensure taxpayers have access to government documents.

But a lower-court judge sided with Greitens, and appeals court judges agreed.

Still, appeals court judges said the ruling should not be interpreted as them condoning use of the app by public officials, writing the app “has the practical effect of side-stepping the reach of Missouri’s Sunshine Law.”

Mark Pedroli, Sansone’s attorney, told The Kansas City Star that they’ll try to take the case to the Missouri Supreme Court if necessary.

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