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Thursday, January 10, 2008


Gov. Matt Blunt’s former deputy counsel sued the governor and four current and former high-ranking members of the governor’s staff for defamation and wrongful termination relating to allegedly illegal destruction of official documents by the administration. Scott Eckersley filed the suit, which seeks unspecified damages, on Jan. 9 in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Eckersley claims he was fired in September after advising his superiors that members of the governor’s staff were routinely violating Missouri’s open records and records retention laws. After the allegations because public last year, members of the Blunt administration orchestrated a smear campaign in an attempt to discredit Eckersley, but quickly back off most of the claims after media outlets questioned their veracity.

In addition to Blunt, the others named in the lawsuit are Ed Martin, the governor’s former chief of staff; Henry Herschel, the governor’s former chief counsel; Rich Chrismer, Blunt’s top spokesman; and Rich AuBuchon, chief counsel for the Office of Administration. Both Martin and Herschel resigned due to the growing scandal late last year.

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