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Greitens waives first court appearance in computer tampering case
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Greitens waives first court appearance in computer tampering case

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Circuit attorney drops charge against Gov. Greitens after judge rules she can be called as witness

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens leaves the Civil Courts building to speak with reporters on Monday, May 14, 2018. Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner dropped a felony invasion of privacy charge after Circuit Judge Rex Burlison ruled that she could be called as a witness at trial. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS • Gov. Eric Greitens was allowed to waive his first court appearance Tuesday in the felony computer tampering case against him, and a judge set the governor’s next hearing for July 2.

The next hearing set by Associate Circuit Judge Madeline Connolly is routine, pending a decision by a St. Louis grand jury to issue an indictment against Greitens. He is charged with improperly using a list of donors from a charity he co-founded. If the grand jury indicts him, Greitens will have to appear for an arraignment.

Greitens’ lawyer Jack Garvey appeared Tuesday on the governor’s behalf; Chief Trial Assistant Robert Dierker represented Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office.

Greitens’ lawyers have sought to disqualify the circuit attorney’s office from the computer tampering case. A hearing on that defense motion is set for next Tuesday.

On Monday, a St. Louis judge appointed Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker as special prosecutor to review evidence in another criminal case, the invasion of privacy charge that Gardner dismissed last week on the third day of jury selection. Gardner applauded the appointment, saying Baker is “widely credited with being unafraid of tackling difficult cases.”

After Tuesday’s hearing, Garvey told reporters outside the Carnahan Courthouse that prosecutors and defense lawyers submitted lists of potential prosecutors. Garvey said he didn’t know who was on either list but said the defense is satisfied Baker will put “another set of eyes” on “the first case to see that there’s no evidence of any crime.”

“I don’t think there’s any fear at all, we’re just happy it’s not in the circuit attorney’s office right now,” Garvey said.

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