Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey made his move to fire Democrat St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner over a tragic incident involving a repeat offender.
Gardner refused to resign after a teenage girl was hit by a car driven by a career criminal Daniel Riley, who was free despite several violations of his bond terms.
The teen, Janae Edmonson, lost both her legs in the incident.
“I initiated legal proceedings to remove her from office,” Bailey said.
“That was filed at 12:01 p.m. today.
“Instead of protecting victims, Circuit Attorney Gardner is creating them.
“My office will do everything in its power to restore order, and eliminate the chaos in St. Louis caused by Kim Gardner’s neglect of her office.”
Republican Gov. Mike Parson said: “What I believe is that she is not doing what she needs to be doing as the prosecutor of St. Louis.”
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has begun the rare process of moving to force Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner out of office. He explains the standard of proof his office will have to meet, and insists this effort is not political in nature. pic.twitter.com/DEHBg2jU68
— Mark Maxwell (@MarkMaxwellTV) February 23, 2023
“It would be in the best interest of the city — and this is my opinion, I’m not speaking for the caucus — for Kim Gardner to resign and let the city move on,” said Democrat state Rep. Steve Butz.
“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.
“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 added.
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has filed a motion to remove Kim Gardner from office. https://t.co/kq5549kg5i
— KMOV (@KMOV) February 23, 2023
Gardner, who last year survived an effort to strip her of her law license, will hold a news conference of her own Thursday afternoon amidst intense pressure for her to quit because of the traumatic injuries to a Tennessee teen struck Saturday by a speeding car in downtown St. Louis.
Janae Edmonson was in St. Louis for a volleyball tournament when she was struck by a car allegedly driven by Daniel Riley, who was free on bond while awaiting trial for armed robbery.
Both of her legs were amputated because of the injuries she suffered.
Bailey accused Gardner of neglecting her duties because Riley had been cited dozens of times for violating conditions of his bond.
In response, Gardner issued a statement accusing the judge in Riley’s case of failing to recognize the danger he posed to the community.
The statement cited seven instances where Judge Bryan Hettenbach turned down requests to revoke Riley’s bond.
“Judges have the sole authority to determine bond conditions of a defendant,” the statement read.
“Bond violations and decisions do not solely rest on the shoulders of prosecutors.”