Soros-backed prosecutor Kim Gardner's out; now it's time to do better

Kim Gardner is out as St. Louis circuit attorney. She resigned on May 4.

Part of her resignation letter to Governor Mike Parson says,

“Stepping back is the most powerful thing I can do to stop these outsiders from taking your views and your rights. I wanted to help the people of St. Louis when I took this job, and that’s still my north star. So, with a heavy heart but a firm decision, I’m retiring as your circuit attorney on June 1.”

Gardner announces her resignation

This is interesting comment since she was largely funded by an outsider. Gardner was one of the first state’s attorneys and attorneys general who were supported and funded by leftist billionaire George Soros.

She has also had the opportunity for years to help the people of St. Louis. She didn’t, and that’s why she’s had to resign.

She has been criticized for being soft on crime since the time she took office. She has faced disciplinary actions as a prosecutor, been reprimanded by the Missouri Supreme Court, and ordered to pay a fine. Her office is currently facing contempt charges because prosecutors failed to appear, and she was heading toward facing neglect of office charges.

In one case, the judge said Gardner’s office was a “rudderless ship of chaos,” and added that Gardner “complete indifference and a conscious disregard for the judicial process.”

While Gardner had weathered the criticism, she has recently seen it increasing even among members of her own party. This is because of a February incident when an out-of-control car hit a teen volleyball player, Janae Edmonson, who was in St. Louis for tournament. Both of Edmonson’s legs had to be amputated. 

The car’s driver was out on bond while he waited for his trial in an armed robbery case. He had violated the terms of his bond dozens of times. Gardner’s office claimed that a judge blocked their attempt to arrest the driver before the accident, but there are no records to support this.

This is when Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey filed a petition to start the process to fire Gardner if she was found in neglect of her duties. As part of his support for this, he said nearly 12,000 criminal cases had been dismissed because of Gardner’s neglect and 9,000 were thrown out right before they went to trial.

This was a good first step for St. Louis. Unfortunately, it wasn’t done by the voters in the city, but the state’s attorney general, who is a Republican. This means it will be turned into a political case, and to be honest, it is to a certain extent. This doesn’t mean that Gardner wasn’t incompetent as a circuit attorney, though. It means that whoever replaces her will need to show results.

Parson will choose a new circuit attorney to finish out Gardner’s term, which ends next year.  Whoever this is will have a short amount of time to show results in an office that is in disarray. If the replacement can do this, a case can be made to allow the replacement remain in office or at least vote in a strong crime-fighting candidate. If the replacement fails to make a dent on the problem, residents will probably go back to voting for the candidate who matches their party affiliation, and St. Louis will continue to be mired in rising crime and falling public safety.

If St. Louis residents want to see crime come down in the city, they need to support Gardner’s replacement, and if he or she is successful, re-elect that attorney. If replacement fails, then elect someone who is tough on crime, whether that person is Republican or Democrat. 

Michael A. Letts is the CEO and Founder of In-VestUSA, a national grassroots non-profit organization helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs.  

Photo credit: YouTube screengrab

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