Judge: Gardner's office cannot investigate, prosecute Greitens invasion of privacy case

A judge ruled the invasion of privacy case against Gov. Eric Greitens cannot be investigated or prosecuted by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner. (File)

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and her office have been ordered to not be involved in the investigation or prosecution of a potential new invasion of privacy case against Governor Eric Greitens.

Judge Rex Burlison issued the ruling Monday afternoon, stating any further investigation into the case would have to be done by an independent attorney, according to CBS affiliate KMOV-TV.

The invasion of privacy case was dismissed May 14 after Gardner dropped the charge she had filed against him.

A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens February 22 for felony invasion of privacy. Greitens was accused of taking a picture of a woman with whom he was having an affair in a state of undress without her permission in 2015. Greitens acknowledged the affair, but denied any criminal wrongdoing.

KMOV stated after the case was dismissed, a media spokesperson for the Circuit Attorney's Office initially said there were plans to refile and appoint a special prosecutor, but a statement later released walked that back, saying, "The Circuit Attorney and her team will research the best step forward for this case in light of the court’s ruling. The Circuit Attorney will make a decision to either pursue a special prosecutor or make an appointment of one of her assistants to proceed."

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