Rachel Lippmann

Reporter

Lippmann returned to her native St. Louis after spending two years covering state government in Lansing, Michigan. She earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and followed (though not directly) in Maria Altman's footsteps in Springfield, also earning her graduate degree in public affairs reporting. She's also done reporting stints in Detroit, Michigan and Austin, Texas. Rachel likes to fill her free time with good books, good friends, good food, and good baseball.

Ways to Connect

Original story from 06/13/18; updated with audio from St. Louis on the Air segment on 06/15/18.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. June 13 with comments from NorthSide Regeneration — The state of Missouri has sued developer Paul McKee, accusing him of misusing tax credits for his 1,500-acre NorthSide Regeneration initiative.

After nearly 10 years, the city of St. Louis wants to cut ties with developer Paul McKee and his NorthSide Regeneration initiative.

City counselor Julian Bush sent McKee a letter Tuesday saying that unless the developer pays his taxes and begins work within 30 days, the city will “take any and all action available to it under the Redevelopment Agreement,” which includes not paying McKee for any work he has done in north St. Louis.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. June 8 with comments from Jean Peters Baker — A special prosecutor has decided not to charge former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens in connection with an affair he had before he became governor.

Updated at 10:45 a.m. June 7 with comments from Greitens' attorney — Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens admitted as part of a deal with St. Louis prosecutors that they had enough evidence to take him to trial over the use of a charity’s donor list for his campaign.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office on Wednesday released the full agreement that led to Greitens stepping down last week. Two paragraphs of that deal had originally been redacted. St. Louis Public Radio and other news outlets had filed requests under Missouri’s open records law to see the complete document. Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office ruled on Tuesday that it was an open record.

Updated 8:50 p.m. Wednesday with a copy of the lawsuit — A former St. Louis police officer acquitted of murder last year for an on-duty shooting has sued the prosecutor and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for even bringing the case in the first place.

Jason Stockley, who is white, shot and killed Anthony Lamar Smith, a 24-year-old black man, after a car chase in 2011. He was charged with murder in 2016, after then-circuit attorney Jennifer Joyce said she had new evidence.

Two-officer cars, special training, and a focus on community policing are the hallmarks of the St. Louis County Police Department’s Special Response Unit.

The unit began operating last week. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, County Executive Steve Stenger and members of the unit officially unveiled it Tuesday, at its new headquarters in north St. Louis County.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner told the city’s budget committee Thursday that her decision to charge Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens with two felonies did not take away from her office’s ability to fight violent crime.

Gardner was the final city department head to speak to the Ways and Means committee, which will start making changes to the next year's $1.1 billion budget  on Monday. It must get final approval by June 30.

Gov. Eric Greitens’ resignation was part of an agreement reached with prosecutors to dismiss charges that the governor misused a charity donor list during his campaign.

Judge Rex Burlison on Wednesday accepted the deal reached between St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and attorneys for Greitens. The state will not be able to refile the computer tampering charge, but the agreement has no bearing on the decision of a special prosecutor, Jean Peters Baker, whether to refile invasion of privacy charges. The governor could also face other state or federal charges.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen Friday delayed a final vote on changes to the city’s residency requirement for workers and the number of aldermen.

Supporters of reversing a 2012 public vote that cut the number of wards from 28 to 14, and of eliminating the residency requirement for most city employees, did not have the votes to send the measures to Mayor Lyda Krewson. She had already pledged to veto the ward reduction reversal.

The Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens has sued two political groups connected to the governor demanding they turn over documents.

“The Chair of The Committee, as a member of the House of Representatives, ‘has an absolute right to have a subpoena issue(d) to obtain evidence concerning an offense over which the House of Representatives has jurisdiction,” attorneys for the committee wrote in the suit, filed Thursday in Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City. “The impeachment of an executive officer of Missouri, including a governor, is an offense over which the House of Representatives has jurisdiction.”

Opening arguments in Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' felony invasion of privacy trial have been pushed back until at least Wednesday, as jury selection is taking longer than expected.

Attorneys will spend a third day Monday questioning potential jurors about how much they have heard about the case, and whether they've formed any early opinions.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison has rejected a media request to record audio during the felony trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

Burlison ruled Wednesday that still photography would be allowed for the first 10 minutes of the first day of trial, which is scheduled for Monday. He had previously rejected video recording of the trial, although it will be broadcast into an overflow courtroom for media and the public.

Editor's note: This is the third in a series of three stories profiling the main legal figures involved in the trial of Gov. Eric Greitens. A profile of the prosecution ran Tuesday, and a profile of the defense attorneys ran Wednesday.

Nearly 200 St. Louis residents will walk into the Civil Courts building in downtown St. Louis Thursday morning in response to a jury summons for the felony invasion of privacy trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

They'll eventually file into a seventh floor courtroom, where Circuit Judge Rex Burlison will preside, to learn if they will help determine the governor’s guilt.

Editor's note: This is the second in a series of three stories profiling the main legal figures involved in the trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. A profile of the prosecution ran Tuesday. A profile of the judge will run Thursday.

The felony trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, which starts Thursday with jury selection, has the makings of an epic courtroom skirmish.

As one attorney put it, the case is an All-Star Game for the legal community, and a sizable amount of talent is batting for the governor.

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of three stories profiling the main legal figures involved in the trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. A profile of the defense attorneys will run Wednesday and the judge on Thursday.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner made history in February when she charged Gov. Eric Greitens with felony invasion of privacy. It was the first time a Missouri governor had been indicted.

In the indictment made public Feb. 22, Gardner said that in 2015, Greitens took a photo of the woman with whom he was having an affair, while she was semi-nude, and then transmitted it so that it could be viewed on a computer.

Attorneys for Gov. Eric Greitens want a St. Louis circuit judge to throw out almost all the evidence prosecutors have in the felony invasion of privacy case against him.

A computer glitch had kept the documents from being accessed publicly until Wednesday. Reporters were allowed to review them in the courthouse but could not print copies.

The Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens said Monday it continues to believe the testimony of the woman with whom the governor had an affair in 2015.

The Special Investigative Committee on Oversight on Monday released a five-page addition to its earlier report refuting the governor’s claim that a taped interview the woman gave to St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner directly contradicted what she told the committee.

Greitens' legal team called the latest release "more false information that has not been subject to cross-examination."

Updated April 25 at 6 p.m. with statement from the Anti-Defamation League of St. Louis —A Florissant man has been charged with knocking over more than 100 gravestones at a historic Jewish cemetery in February 2017.

Prosecutors filed a single felony count of institutional vandalism against 34-year-old Alzado Harris on Wednesday for the damage at Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery in University City.

The Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday will consider two cases that could have far-reaching implications for the civil rights protections granted to the state’s LGBTQ community.

The judges will be asked to determine whether the Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, even though the words are not in the act itself. Lower courts are split on the issue.

The U.S. Supreme Court will not consider the constitutionality of a 241-year prison sentence given to a St. Louis man more than two decades ago.

The high court on Monday announced it would not hear the case of Bobby Bostic. The justices gave no reason for their decision.

Updated April 19 at 12 p.m. with comments from circuit attorney's office — A St. Louis judge is allowing the criminal case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to move forward, rejecting a move by the governor's lawyers to dismiss it.

Circuit Judge Rex Burlison on Thursday disagreed with defense attorneys that the conduct by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and an investigator she hired was so bad that the only way to protect Greitens’ rights to a fair trial was to dismiss the felony invasion of privacy charge. 

Prosecutors in St. Louis have to decide soon whether to charge Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens for allegedly misusing a charity donor list during his campaign.

The statute of limitations on the possible charges expires on Sunday, though because the court is closed for the weekend, the deadline to file would be extended to Monday.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Tuesday that he had found evidence Gov. Eric Greitens broke the law when he used a donor list from his charity, The Mission Continues, to raise money for his campaign.

Have questions about the Greitens case? Ask them here and we'll answer them on the Politically Speaking podcast.

Supporters of additional restrictions on protesters outside of St. Louis’ Planned Parenthood’s facility in the Central West End will have to try again next session.

The measure got nine of the 15 needed votes Monday, the final day of the 2017-2018 session of the Board of Aldermen. That means backers of the restrictions will have to start the process over.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen heads back to City Hall Monday for the final day of the current session with several pieces of legislation hanging in the balance.

A protest buffer zone around medical facilities such as Planned Parenthood in the Central West End is the highest-profile measure still awaiting action. Supporters say buffer zone is needed to keep clinic patients and staff safe. Opponents call it a violation of the First Amendment.

Updated April 16 with timeline on ruling  St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison says he'll rule in open court on Thursday about the defense motion to dismiss the felony invasion of privacy trial against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

Original story from April 12:

Updated at 8 p.m. with reactions from state officials including Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who called for the governor to resign — The woman with whom Gov. Eric Greitens had an affair in 2015 told a special Missouri House committee investigating his conduct that she felt coerced into a sexual act during one of their early meetings.

The woman, who had been Greitens’ hair stylist, told the committee that Greitens was “controlling” during the encounter on March 21, 2015, tying her to pull-up rings in his basement and tearing her shirt and pants without her consent. She also told the committee she felt compelled to perform oral sex in order to be able to get to work on time. 

Gov. Eric Greitens has been subpoenaed as part of an investigation into whether he used a list of donors to his charity, The Mission Continues, in his campaign for governor.

The fact that Attorney General Josh Hawley had issued subpoenas as part of the probe was already known. A Hawley spokeswoman confirmed in an emailed statement Thursday that the governor was one of the targets.

St. Louis County police are a step closer to using body and dashboard cameras on a full-time basis.

The department on Tuesday officially asked companies to submit bids for 350 dashboard and 120 body cameras. Companies have until May 4 to respond.

A member of the grand jury that decided to not charge a former Ferguson police officer in the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown will likely head to federal court to challenge Missouri’s rules around grand jury secrecy.

The juror wanted to be able to violate the oath of secrecy to “contribute to the current dialogue around race relations” and to correct what the juror saw as misconduct by St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch.

The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear the case. Two lower courts have said the state’s oath requiring grand jury secrecy does not violate the rights of the unidentified grand juror.

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