St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has filed an amended petition to remove St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner from office.

The new filing of more than 100 pages details his explanations as to why she should no longer hold the office she has twice been elected to hold.

In his petition, Bailey wrote that judges have been “forced to dismiss more than 2,700 cases because defendants have not received discovery information in timely fashion nor have they received speedy trials.”

Bailey alleges that Gardner: Failed in her duty to review warrant applications, with at least an eight-month backlog. Failed in her duty to properly present many cases to the grand jury, receiving much criticism by the grand jury on many occasions.

Engaged in years of costly and wasteful litigation, including suing the City of St. Louis, a case which has been pending for four years. Consented to extraordinary bond reductions, and failed to file motions to revoke bond, involving serious, violent crimes. Caused turnover of Circuit Attorney’s Office (CAO) in record number.

Caused CAOs to commit discovery abuses, resulting in sanctions by the court. He also alleged that Gardner has created “a toxic work environment.”

“This is about protecting the people of the City of St. Louis, restoring the rule of law, and finding justice for victims. We brought this suit to remove a prosecutor who has refused to perform her duties to the people of St. Louis,” Bailey said in a statement.

“The evidence is shocking and deeply disturbing, and we remain committed to removing Circuit Attorney Gardner from office.”

KSDK reported on Wednesday that Bailey asked Judge John Torbitzky to grant him additional time to present new evidence against Gardner and requested a June trial date. 

In a response, Gardner said Bailey would not have to request changes to the original quo warranto petition if Bailey's office wasn't rushing the process to "take advantage of a tragedy for political gain, while ignoring the will of the voters.”

Gardner has 10 days to respond to the amended petition. Last week, Gardner responded to the original petition hours before a midnight Wednesday, March 15 deadline. To be removed, Gardner contends, that Bailey “must allege a willful and intentional failure, not negligence.”

“[The statute] has only been applied to oust a prosecutor (or any other official) when they engaged in intentional corrupt acts in derogation of their official duties, and ouster of prosecutors under this statute has been uniformly denied for anything less.

“Taking Mr. Bailey’s allegations in his Petition as true and giving them their broadest reading, his Petition fails to state facts that show Kimberly Gardner has engaged in intentional corrupt acts in derogation of her official duties. Instead, the Petition alleges mere negligence or mistakes in the administration of her office without any allegation of corrupt intent or bad faith."

The motion states, “Mr. Bailey’s Petition fails to meet the extremely high bar to state a lawful claim for ouster. Instead, his Petition is a gross power grab, an affront to the liberties of all Missourians. The Court should dismiss it.”

Gardner's office is under scrutiny after the handling of a high-profile case. A 17-year-old volleyball player was critically injured in a crash caused by a suspect who was supposed to be on house arrest.

Court records show the suspect in that crash violated house arrest on a previous armed robbery case, but prosecutors never filed a motion to revoke his bond and dismissed and refiled the charges against him in July 2022 because they weren't ready to go to trial.

Gardner’s motion also contends that she was not personally involved in the suspect’s case, thus she cannot be held accountable.

“These cases were not litigated by Ms. Gardner herself, but by others, and Mr. Bailey has provided no factual allegation of Ms. Gardner’s personal involvement or knowledge of what happened in those cases,” according to the motion. “This is an action against Ms. Gardner; it must allege that Ms. Gardner, herself, acted intentionally or corruptly.”

KSDK and Sylvester Brown of the St. Louis American contributed to this article.

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.