St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner abruptly resigned on Tuesday, weeks before her scheduled departure date.
KSDK reported that the office of Missouri’s Republican governor, Mike Parson, verified receipt of an email from Gardner announcing her departure from office by the end of the day.
“The Circuit Attorney has worked with St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell and his office to ensure a comprehensive transition plan is in place to handle cases that prioritize public safety,” according to the news release.
“Effective immediately, Kimberly M. Gardner will end her service as the City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney. Ms. Gardner has been committed to serving the people of the City of St. Louis and has done all she can to ensure a smooth transition. Further inquiries about ongoing cases can be directed to St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office,” the release added.
#BREAKING: Gardner initially planned to resign on June 1, but News 4 has confirmed her resignation will be effective today. #stlcao #stl #stlouis https://t.co/dtQBUcMiQG
— KMOV (@KMOV) May 16, 2023
A St. Louis judge appointed a special counsel to represent Gardner in a case brought against her.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, after Gardner and her assistant Christopher Desilets neglected to appear in court for an assault case, Judge Michael Noble appointed a special prosecutor.
The judge alleged that there was evidence that Gardner and Desilets were both culpable of indirect criminal contempt, as Desilets missed both a trial and a hearing.
“It appears that Ms. Gardner has complete indifference and a conscious disregard for the judicial process,” said the judge, according to the news outlet.
Gardner did not attend Noble’s hearing and instead sent her delegate, Rob Huq, who was unable to satisfy the judge’s questions regarding the contempt allegations.
According to the report, Gardner’s attorney, Michael Downey, was present at the hearing but did not remark afterward.
Gardner has a history of ethical issues, but her difficulties reached a head earlier this year when Andrew Bailey, the Republican attorney general of Missouri, demanded her removal. Bailey initiated removal proceedings against her after a man who had repeatedly violated his bond conditions and lacked a driver’s license gravely injured a visiting 16-year-old volleyball player in St. Louis.
In April, Gardner received additional allegations of negligence and potential misconduct.
“Instead of protecting victims, Circuit Attorney Gardner is creating them,” the Missouri attorney general said at the time. “This is the latest in a long pattern of brazen neglect. The St. Louis Circuit Attorney has a long history of failure to prosecute violent crime, with a backlog of at least 3,000 cases.”
A grand jury accused her of “disturbing and unethical” behavior after she acknowledged prosecutorial misconduct in a case involving former Republican governor of Missouri Eric Greitens.
In April 2022, the Missouri Supreme Court ordered Gardner to comply with Just the News’s Editor-in-Chief John Solomon’s public records request regarding the prosecution of Greitens.
Solomon filed a request for public records under the state’s Sunshine Law in July 2019, seeking approximately two and a half years’ worth of correspondence between Gardner’s office and the Missouri Workforce Housing Association, state Representatives Stacy Newman and Jay Barnes, and a number of other organizations and individuals.
More on this story via Conservative Brief:
The public records request was specifically related to Gardner’s unsuccessful prosecution of Greitens in 2018, which nevertheless led to the former governor’s resignation from office after less than two years. CONTINUE READING…