- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 20, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Republican Gov.-elect Eric Greitens on Tuesday named a top Anheuser-Busch official and former lobbyist to be his chief of staff.

The brewery’s vice president of national affairs Michael Roche will fill the roll, Greitens’ senior adviser Austin Chambers said.

Roche was a registered federal lobbyist for Anheuser-Busch through 2013, according to federal disclosure reports.

Chambers also confirmed that he’ll stay on as senior adviser when Greitens takes office Jan. 9. The Republican succeeds outgoing Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, who was barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

Chambers told The Associated Press that Greitens plans to make his first cabinet appointment, the Department of Corrections director, as early as Wednesday. He said Greitens on Tuesday offered job to the appointee, who accepted.

The Department of Corrections fell under scrutiny after alternative weekly newspaper The Pitch first reported that between 2012 and 2016, Missouri paid more than $7.5 million from its Legal Defense Fund on settlements and judgments related to those alleging sexual and other types of harassment and retaliation.

Other administrative staff picks Greitens announced on Tuesday include Jennae Neustadt for legislative director. She previously served in that role and as chief of staff for Republican state Sen. Bob Onder of Lake St. Louis.

Greitens’ campaign policy director Will Scharf will continue in that role in the next governor’s administration. He previously worked as an attorney for the Bryan Cave law firm in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday that former Huffington Post Media Group managing editor Jimmy Soni is on Greitens’ transition team.

Chambers said Soni is helping with communications and hiring. He said he’ll stay on when Greitens assumes office, but his title has not yet been finalized.

Others who will serve on Greitens’ staff include general counsel Lucinda Luetkemeyer, an attorney with Graves Garrett in Kansas City.

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