JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Records obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch show a political consultant directed state employees in the beginning of now-resigned Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' administration.
The newspaper reported adviser Austin Chambers in emails approved policy roll-outs and received drafts of Greitens' State of the State address. An Associated Press message seeking comment from Chambers wasn't immediately returned Friday.
Chambers, now 23, was one of the architects of Greitens' winning "conservative outsider" strategy in 2016, according to the newspaper.
When Greitens took office in January 2017, Chambers was copied on multiple drafts of Greitens' first State of the State address, and had access to pending media inquiries, according to emails obtained by the Post-Dispatch.
As another example of how Chambers directed staff, the newspaper reported, he signed off on a budget letter that was to be published at the front of an official state manuscript, which detailed Greitens' plans for the state's $28 billion annual budget. The letter includes digs at "insiders, special interests, lobbyists, and career politicians" who "have made a mess of our budget."
"Approved," Chambers wrote on Jan. 27, 2017, after receiving the final draft.
Besides running Greitens' campaign, Chambers worked for A New Missouri, the dark-money nonprofit that took in $6 million in 2017 and has not revealed the source of any of the money, the newspaper noted.
The records offer a glimpse into the inner-workings of the notoriously opaque administration, the newspaper reported. They show press secretary Parker Briden crafted posts for Greitens' personal Facebook page, which could constitute a violation of the law because taxpayer resources cannot be expended on political purposes.
Production of these records comes at a particularly awkward time for the Missouri attorney general's office. Former Attorney General Josh Hawley is under a secretary of state investigation for a similar issue. Hawley resigned to become a U.S. senator Thursday.
A liberal group had complained it was a misuse of taxpayer-funded resources for political consultants to direct Hawley's staff to do work that would help Hawley's Senate bid. Hawley's office has repeatedly said no taxpayer resources were used for his campaign.