JEFFERSON CITY, MO.— Gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder forced his chief of staff, Eric Wayne Feltner, to resign following news that Feltner has been charged with furnishing pornographic materials to a minor.
According to the Springfield News-Leader, Feltner was charged after allegedly engaging in sexually explicit conversations online with an undercover officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.
County prosecutors filed two class C misdemeanor charges against Feltner last month for incidents that took place during an online sting operation on May 25, 2007, and July 6, 2007.
Feltner became Kinder's chief of staff in December after two and a half years of serving as deputy lieutenant governor.
"I have too much respect for you to allow the unresolved nature of this situation [to] be a distraction to the job you do every day," Feltner wrote in his resignation letter to Kinder.
The Springfield-Leader reported Feltner allegedly contacted an undercover police officer on Yahoo Instant Messenger using the screen name "thebestinmo," and engaged in sexually explicit conversations with the officer who posed as an underage teen.
"The suspect knew that I was only 13 years old because of prior chat conversations on Yahoo Messenger," Jefferson City police Det. Chad Stieferman said.
The detective said Feltner, thinking he was chatting with a young girl, asked, "when the last time I masturbated was and then told me I need to try masturbating over the phone.”
Kinder's decision to ask Feltner for his resignation came after inquires about Feltner's charges by the media. "This morning, shortly after my director of communications notified me of inquires to my office regarding the filing of charges against Eric Feltner," Kinder said. "At my immediate request, Mr. Feltner delivered to me his letter of resignation as chief of staff of my office."
Feltner is scheduled to be arraigned June 27.