Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) has set his sights on a George Soros-linked prosecutor in his state, announcing plans to fire her over alleged mishandling of cases.
In a press release, the Republican attorney general revealed that he had filed a quo warranto lawsuit to remove St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner from her position. Bailey asserts that her removal comes after “years of willful neglect” of cases she was supposed to prosecute.
“As Attorney General, I want to protect the people of St. Louis, and that includes ensuring prosecutors protect the public,” he wrote in the press release. “We gave Circuit Attorney Gardner the chance to do the right thing and resign, she has refused to do so, and my office filed a quo warranto at 12:01 PM to remove her from office immediately.”
In a petition, Bailey cited several of the prosecutor’s failures, noting that “the circuit court has been forced to dismiss more than 2,700 cases, often because of [Gardner’s] inexplicable failure to provide defendants with discovery and a speedy trial”
He also argued that Gardner’s “lack of diligence has forced her office to dismiss more than 9,000 cases — frequently on the cusp of trial — endlessly frustrating courts and victims desperate for justice.”
The petition also cites a February 18 incident where Daniel Riley, a career criminal who was charged with first-degree robbery and armed criminal action in 2020, was speeding in his vehicle and allegedly struck a teenage volleyball player — “severing one of her legs” and “maiming the other,” which ultimately resulted in the amputation of both of her legs.
17-year-old, Janae Edmonson, was left permanently paralyzed, after the soft-on-crime policies of St. Louis kept the criminal who harmed her, on the streets
DA, Kim Gardner, delayed his initial trial due to being unprepared, then lied to the public about https://t.co/tyW889Mlpw…
— Savanah Hernandez (@sav_says_) March 3, 2023
Riley had “earned 54 separate violations for failing to comply with the pre-trial bond conditions” while he was out on bond for the 2020 charges, according to the petition. The document further notes that Riley had allegedly earned an additional 50 violations after the charges against him were refiled in 2022.
“The Circuit Attorney never filed a motion to revoke Riley’s bond,” the petition states, adding that the girl’s injuries were “the direct result of years of willful neglect from Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner.”
Daniel Riley's attorney said he still has not received evidence from St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner's Office on the case. https://t.co/P8YDEAWVux
— KSDK News (@ksdknews) April 7, 2023
Bailey further argued that the prosecutor’s conduct is grounds for the forfeiture of her office, and the Revised Statutes of Missouri seem to indicate that his argument is correct.
“Any person elected or appointed to any county, city, town or township office in this state, except such officers as may be subject to removal by impeachment, who shall fail personally to devote his time to the performance of the duties of such office, or who shall be guilty of any willful or fraudulent violation or neglect of any official duty, or who shall knowingly or willfully fail or refuse to do or perform any official act or duty which by law it is his duty to do or perform with respect to the execution or enforcement of the criminal laws of the state, shall thereby forfeit his office,” the statutes read.
According to reporting from Fox 2 in March, the Missouri governor issued subpoenas for St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, as well as the city’s Comptroller Darlene Green, in relation to their communications with Gardner.
The report also notes that Gardner herself had been subpoenaed by State Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick.
When Gardner first ran for St. Louis Circuit Attorney in 2016, her campaign received an in-kind contribution from the George Soros-funded Safety and Justice Committee. The contribution, worth $67,693.23, was believed to be related to an advertisement campaign in support of Gardner.