St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner

A circuit judge has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the allegations that the attorneys of former Missouri governor Eric Greitens’ threatened to “ruin” Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner if she continued to prosecute the felonious invasion of privacy charge against the governor.

Greitens’ lawyers allegedly made the first threats that they would “ruin” Gardner’s professional career at a March 16, 2018 meeting, Gardner told the American in past interviews, and again in April 2018. Greitens’ lawyers allegedly did not want Gardner to pursue charges against Greitens for allegedly taking a semi-nude picture of his hairdresser without her consent and then transferred it in a way that it could be accessed by a computer.

Gardner then reported the threats to the police, she said. The police department has completed their investigation and are pursuing charges, according to court documents. The police department would not comment on when they completed their investigation.

On June 5, the Circuit Attorney’s Office filed a motion requesting appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the case of tampering with a public officer and a judicial officer. The motion states that multiple former and current assistant circuit attorneys are potential witnesses.

On Tuesday July 16, Presiding Judge Rex M. Burlison of the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court appointed the retired Judge Michael Bradley of Columbia, Mo. as special prosecutor to investigate the allegations. Bradley retired as a Boone County associate circuit judge on December 31, 2018, where he had served since 2011 and presided over criminal, civil and probate dockets.  Bradley is a former assistant attorney general who worked for former governor Jay Nixon from 1995 to 2009 when he served as attorney general. Nixon appointed Bradley to the bench in April 2011.

Nixon is currently a partner at the Dowd Bennett law firm, the same law firm as the accused Greitens’ attorneys in this case.

According to a spokesman for the circuit court, Burlison did not hold any hearings to vet Bradley for conflicts of interest or require that Bradley fill out any forms stating his conflicts of interest before he made his decision.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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