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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Court Reinstates License for Edward Griesedieck, Lawyer Who Funneled Money to Missouri Democrats

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2015 at 7:49 AM

Edward Griesedieck (right) and former Missouri governor Roger Wilson were indicted together in 2012. - KMOX
  • KMOX
  • Edward Griesedieck (right) and former Missouri governor Roger Wilson were indicted together in 2012.

Three years after pleading guilty to laundering a $5,000 contribution to the Missouri Democratic Party, Edward Griesedieck is getting his law license back

But wait! There's more to this development than some attorney with a famous St. Louis name going back to a job that bills people hundreds of dollars per hour. In fact, Griesedieck's return to the law game marks what might be the final echo of the rolling corruption scandal that shook St. Louis in 2011.



That year, Douglas Morgan, chairman of the St. Louis County Planning Commission and the Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company, was indicted for felony bank fraud after authorities discovered he'd lied his way into roughly $1.5 million in loans over the previous decade. 

Morgan wasn't interested in only funneling money to himself, which is where Griesedieck came in. Investigators looking into Morgan's various shady dealings discovered some strange entries in the accounting books of the Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company (the state's worker's compensation insurer), which eventually led them to the laundered $5,000 contribution to Missouri Democratic Party. 

According to a 2012 indictment, Morgan asked Griesedieck in 2009 to donate $5,000 to the Missouri Democratic Party. The money was actually from Missouri Employers Mutual — but thanks to campaign finance laws, it couldn't be that simple. Instead, Morgan had to make it to look like the cash was coming from the bank account for the legal firm Herzog Crebs, where Griesedieck was a partner. Griesedieck then added a $5,000 "advance cost" to Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company's legal bill, thereby helping to disguise the true source of the political donation.

Morgan tried pulling the same scheme again, but he was sniffed out by the Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company's lawyers. Ultimately, the hidden contribution ensnared both Griesedieck and former Missouri governor Roger Wilson, then the CEO of the Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company. Both Griesedieck and Wilson eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of misusing money. 

See also: 
Former Gov. Roger Wilson & Edward Griesedieck Indicted for Campaign Contributions

Matthew Schelp, Griesedieck's attorney, says his client is looking forward to reestablishing himself in St. Louis' legal community.

"He's been on the sidelines three-and-a-half years, and other than this incident he's had an outstanding legal career," Schelp says. "He stood up and took responsibility for the mistake he made, without question. I'm sure he'll be able to rebuild his career."

As for Morgan, he died before facing trial. 

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com

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