May 30 (UPI) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens resigned Monday, saying he won’t allow his legal battles to continue to “cause pain and difficulty for the people I love.”
His resignation is effective 5 p.m. Friday.
He cited the “incredible strain” of his current legal woes, mounting legal bills and the calls for his resignation in a news conference announcing his departure.
“It’s clear for the forces that oppose us there is no end in sight,” Greitens said. “I cannot allow those forces to continue to cause pain and difficulty to the people I love.”
His departure comes three months after a grand jury indicted him on a felony charge of invasion of privacy for transmitting a nude image of a woman he had an affair with in 2015, which he took without her consent. The allegations led to a special investigation by the Missouri legislature, which called the woman’s testimony “disturbing.”
The woman, who’d been Greitens’ hairdresser, said she never wanted the affair to become public, but was forced to cooperate once her husband shared a recording of her describing the incidents.
Prosecutors dropped the charges earlier this month when a judge ruled the city’s lead prosecutor could be called as a witness in the case. Last week, the judge appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the case.
Greitens faced additional charges of computer tampering in April for allegedly misusing a veterans charity’s donor list to raise money for his 2016 campaign.
The Republican previously resisted calls for his resignation despite pressure from fellow Republicans in the state legislature.
“I will not be resigning the governor’s office,” Greitens said in April. “In three weeks, this matter will go to a court of law — where it belongs and where the facts will prove my innocence.
“Until then, I will do what the people of Missouri sent me here to do: to serve them and work hard on their behalf.”
Greitens repeated his claims of innocence during Tuesday’s news conference and touted his accomplishments as governor.
“I came to office to fight for the people of Missouri, fight for the forgotten. I love Missouri and I love our people.
“It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as your governor.”