Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey moved to fire Democratic St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner on Thursday after she refused to resign following an accident over the weekend that involved a repeat offender who was free despite several violations of his bond.
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The AG’s office started the process of filing a petition quo warranto, which is the legal mechanism under the state statute that allows the Attorney General to remove a prosecutor who neglects his/her duties. Bailey will have to show a judge that Gardner neglected her duties and needs to be removed from her position.
“This is about a quantum of evidence that demonstrates her failure to prosecute cases, failure to inform and confer with victims in cases and failure to file new cases that are referred by law enforcement agencies,” Bailey told Fox News Digital.
“I’m a former prosecutor. I’ve worked in a county prosecutor’s office, and what motivated me every day was the rule of law and finding justice for victims. And rather than finding justice for victims and protecting victims, the circuit attorney of the city of St. Louis was creating new victims. And someone’s got to hold her accountable and that’s that’s why we’re moving forward with our quo warranto,” he said.
Bailey gave Gardner an ultimatum on Wednesday. He said she needed to resign or she would be removed.
This call came after a motorist who repeatedly violated his bond conditions crashed and left a teenage volleyball player with major injuries that required both her legs to be amputated.
Gardner’s office is the one that should be monitoring compliance with bond conditions and revoking them when the terms are violated.
The victim was Janau Admondson, 16, who visited St. Louis with her family for a volleyball tournament. While she and her family were downtown, 21-year-old Daniel Riley was speeding, and he failed to yield causing a collision that ultimately struck and pinned down Edmondson.
Fox News reported:
According to local reports, Edmondson only survived due to her father’s quick thinking and military training. She remains in the hospital in critical condition.
In the days following the crash, local reports revealed Riley was out on bail awaiting trial for a 2020 armed robbery. According to KSDK, Riley had violated the terms of his bond at least 50 times, but the circuit attorney’s office did not ask for his bond to be revoked.
Bailey said three claims constitute Gardner’s “neglect in office.”
One is that she failed to prosecute cases that are filed. “So a law enforcement referral comes in, she files a charge and then she doesn’t move the case at all, she fails to move those cases to disposition. So these cases languish on dockets and are eventually dismissed,” he explained.
“The circuit attorney failed to file a motion to revoke and now we have another victim in the city of St. Louis because she refused to do her job,” Bailey said of the Riley case.
Bailey said Gardner failed to inform and confer with victims.
“Under the Missouri Constitution and state statute, she has the moral and legal obligation to keep victims of crime the city of St. Louis notified about where their cases are, where they’re going and what the dispositions will be. She’s failed to do that,” he said.
Bailey also said that Gardner failed to “file new cases referred by law enforcement agencies.”
Gardner released a statement on Tuesday saying, “Our hearts go out to the victim and her family for this unspeakable tragedy that will undoubtedly have a lasting impact not only on her, but her family and loved ones.”
“It’s unfortunate that there are those who choose to twist the facts to take advantage of this situation for their own selfish motives,” he added. “This is not the time for finger pointing, it’s time to support this family, and ensure that justice is served.”