JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Despite facing two felony charges and growing pressure to resign, Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens will be the keynote speaker at a St. Louis Area Police Chiefs Association prayer breakfast honoring fallen police officers and their families.
Wentzville Police Chief Kurt Frisz, chairman of the St. Louis Area Police Chiefs Association, confirmed Greitens’ will speak Wednesday at the Police Officer Memorial Prayer Breakfast, which is closed to the public. He said the governor has been a strong supporter of law enforcement.
“Of course all this stuff’s going on,” Frisz said. “But, you know, for us, this is about memorializing fallen officers and paying respect to them and their families. And I think the governor’s well-suited to do that.”
At least one official raised the concern about Greitens’ appearance. In an email to area police chiefs, Ed Magee, spokesman for St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch, questioned whether the invitation was a good idea, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported .
“Chiefs, Are you sure you want a guy currently charged with a felony as your guest speaker?” he wrote. “That will not be good press wise.”
Greitens is charged with invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a compromising photo of a partially nude woman with whom he had an affair in 2015. He is also charged with an unrelated felony for allegedly using a charity donor list for his 2016 political campaign without permission of The Mission Continues, the St. Louis-based veterans charity Greitens founded.
“That’s way beyond what we’re about,” Frisz said. “This is about a memorial breakfast and I mentioned it to someone else before — I said, ‘We’re still operating in a world of you’re innocent until proven guilty.’”