Indicted lawmaker says he'll stay on job

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A state lawmaker indicted for bank and credit card fraud said Thursday that he will remain in the legislature while fighting the charges in court.

Democratic Rep. John Bowman, of north St. Louis County, and 16 others are accused of fraudulently applying for business credit cards at Bank of America, then using those cards to rack up more than $1.2 million in charges.

"I will be exonerated, and I'll have my day in court," Bowman said in his Capitol office, where he returned for the first time since the federal grand jury indictment was unsealed Monday.

Bowman, 50, declined to discuss details of the case but said he would continue to serve his constituents in House District 70.

"I'm just going to continue to do the work that people sent me to do at this time," he said.

Bowman serves on the powerful House Budget Committee and the Special Committee on Rural Community Development. He said he is considering reducing his legislative duties.

"All members on both sides of the aisle have been very supportive," he said.

House Speaker Rod Jetton, who has the power to reject committee assignments and name House members to special committees, said he sympathizes with Bowman and has no plans to remove him from any committees.

"As far as we're concerned, until he's found guilty, he's an innocent guy, and we're happy to work with him," Jetton, R-Marble Hill, said.