Feb 13, 2020 3:00 AM

Missouri Governor appoints PAC donor to university post

Posted Feb 13, 2020 3:00 AM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's Republican Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday gave a top university appointment to a business owner who donated to a political action committee supporting Parson's campaign.

Parson named hth companies Inc. CEO Greg Hoberock to the University of Missouri Board of Curators, a governing board for the four-campus system. Records show Hoberock in December 2018 donated $25,000 to Uniting Missouri PAC, which is backing Parson's bid to keep his seat this November.

PACs can work in support of candidates but cannot coordinate with them.

Hoberock previously served as treasurer for Missourians for Freedom to Work, a campaign to raise money in support of a right-to-work law prohibiting mandatory union fees that voters struck down in 2018. Hoberock donated $100,000 to the campaign.

He's also given to Republican candidates, including a $315 donation to former Republican Gov. Eric Greitens in 2016. Greitens appointed Hoberock to the State Technical College of Missouri Board of Regents in 2017.

Parson also on Wednesday appointed Columbia resident Robin Wenneker to the University of Missouri board. She is former president of the University of Missouri-Columbia's College of Agriculture Food and National Resources Foundation and also serves on the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Senate.

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Feb 13, 2020 3:00 AM
Ex-Kan. prison lab instructor wants sex crime conviction thrown out
Tomas Co photo Texas County

TOPEKA, KAN. (AP) — A former prison dental instructor who was found guilty earlier this month of one count of unlawful sexual relations with an inmate is asking a judge to throw out the conviction.

Tomas Co was convicted on one charge and found not guilty of five other charges alleging he abused female inmates working in the dental lab at the Topeka Correctional Facility.

The conviction was for a woman who said Co touched the inside of her knee and thigh.

In a motion filed Friday, Co's attorney, Chris Joseph, argued that type of touching doesn’t constitute “lewd” touching under state law. The motion also asks Shawnee County District Court Judge Cheryl Rios to acquit Co based on insufficient evidence, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Joseph said he also plans to seek probation for Co, rather than the 31 to 136 months of prison time he is facing.

District Attorney Mike Kagay said his office would file arguments in response to the defense motion.

Inmates in the dental lab complained for five years about alleged sexual harassment and unwanted touching by Co, who was dismissed in December 2018.