According to leaked emails from U.S. Navy top brass, the military service is reviewing the case of former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens (R) who has made overtures about returning after he stepped down in disgrace after being accused in a sex and blackmail scandal.
The 44-year-old first-term governor, who was seen as a rising star in the Republican Party, abruptly resigned in May of last year under a cloud of accusations stemming from an extramarital affair and his political fundraising.
With his political career derailed, Greitens is reportedly looking for a safe place to land.
According to the Washington Post, "Joseph D. Kernan, a retired admiral and Navy SEAL, knew Greitens from their time in the military. Now the Pentagon’s undersecretary of defense for intelligence, Kernan wanted to know if there was a way in which Greitens could return to military life, according to documents and emails obtained by."
"Greitens, 45, admitted to having an extramarital affair, but denied accusations that he coerced the woman involved into a sexual act and threatened to publicize a photo of her partially nude if she ever went public with their relationship, " the Post reports, adding that charges were later dropped over prosecutorial misconduct.
Now the Navy is reviewing how to handle re-admitting the former politician considering his history.
"While the door has been opened to Greitens continuing to serve, the Navy has not yet decided whether it will allow him to take a position outside of his home state that he might desire, three Navy officials said, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation," the Post relays, adding, "The case also has prompted the chief of naval operations, Adm. John Richardson, to call for a new 30-day review of how the service handles personnel cases involving personal misconduct allegations, including Greitens’s."
According to an email of Richardson's, he stated, "'Recent events involving the transition of Mr. Greitens' have 'excited a persistent frustration of mine that I want to address more comprehensively.' The Navy’s policies and practices for addressing personal misconduct are 'too cumbersome and slow,' creating situations where officials end up retaining people 'we’d rather see dismissed from our ranks'," the Post reports.
In an interview, Richardson admitted, "It’s a much more broad thing that I think might have been stimulated by this discussion of the Greitens case, but it’s really been simmering. We have been poking at this issue at different directions for some time.”
Asked about Greiten's chances of returning, he demurred, saying, "It will all be a part of this thing."
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