Embattled St. Louis prosecutor Kimberly Gardner has tendered her resignation, but that won’t end the state attorney general’s efforts to remove her from office prior to her intended last day of June 1.
In her resignation letter, Gardner claimed that a recent proposed bill in the state legislature was “part of a coordinated, long-standing strategy to undermine me and my efforts to make the City of St. Louis safe and fairer.”
She then listed a slate of accomplishments that some would argue represent secondary goals — if that — for a city prosecutor, while saying little to nothing about her record of convicting criminals.
“We have established innovative prosecutor-led diversion programs, significantly reduced police misconduct, created pathways to successfully overturn wrongful convictions, and won justice for victims in the most violent cases,” she wrote.
— Circuit Attorney (@stlcao) May 4, 2023
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey had earlier issued an ultimatum to Gardner to resign or face “immediate removal proceedings, released a statement after her resignation was announced.
“There is absolutely no reason for the Circuit Attorney to remain in office until June 1. We remain undeterred with our legal quest to forcibly remove her from office. Every day she remains puts the city of St. Louis in more danger. How many victims will there be between now and June 1? How many defendants will have their constitutional rights violated? How many cases will continue to go unprosecuted?”
Bailey is among a number of state officials who have run out of patience with Gardner, according to a February report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“Instead of protecting victims, Circuit Attorney Gardner is creating them. My office will do everything in its power to restore order, and eliminate the chaos in St. Louis caused by Kim Gardner’s neglect of her office,” Bailey tweeted at the time. Missouri law gives Bailey the power to remove rogue elected officials.
Gardner’s office has been accused of protecting violent criminals.
According to the Post-Dispatch, Gardner’s support in St. Louis took a major hit after a man her office let fall through the cracks almost killed a teenage girl in mid-February.
Daniel Riley, 21, was supposed to be under house arrest but reportedly crashed into a parked car carrying 17-year-old Janae Edmondson, whose legs had to be amputated.
“He was awaiting trial for a 2020 robbery charge,” the Post-Dispatch reported. “The trial was originally scheduled for last summer, but prosecutors appeared in court to announce they weren’t ready for trial.”
Charges in the case were dismissed and refiled by Gardner’s office and Riley was released. He allegedly violated the terms of his bond “dozens of times, but prosecutors never moved to lock him up.”
Gardner’s office claimed Riley’s trial was delayed because a witness had died. It was later discovered the witness was alive.
The Post-Dispatch reported that St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, formerly considered on of Gardner’s strongest allies, dialed back her support after the crash.
“She really needs to do some soul-searching of whether or not she wants to continue as circuit attorney, because she’s lost the trust of the people,” the mayor stated.
Gardner took office in 2017. Organizations linked to far-left billionaire George Soros have given Gardner at least $150,000, according to the Washington Examiner.
Gardner made headlines in 2020 when she prosecuted Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who pointed firearms at a mob trespassing in their gated neighborhood during the nationwide Black Lives Matter riots.
Gardner was later removed from the case after a judge determined she was pursuing it for “political purposes.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.