MO attorney general demands Gardner’s resignation, threatens to file removal proceedings

FILE - Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey speaks to reporters after taking the oath of...
FILE - Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey speaks to reporters after taking the oath of office in Jefferson City, Mo., on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and the state's Republican attorney general are investigating whistleblower complaints against a transgender health center for children, the officials announced Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023 (AP Photo/David A. Lieb, File)(David A. Lieb | AP)
Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 7:24 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey demanded Wednesday that St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner immediately resign or face removal proceedings by his office.

Bailey said in a press release that if Gardner does not resign by noon Thursday, he will file removal proceedings against her. Many other officials, including St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, criticized Gardner in the wake of an accident that left a teen critically injured. Two St. Louis aldermen have called for her resignation along with several other Democrat and Republican state and local officials.

“It is time for the Circuit Attorney to go and for the rule of law and justice to prevail,” Bailey said in the press release Wednesday evening.

The legal proceedings are called quo warranto, a process that uses the courts to remove officials from office.

“It’s easier to think of it as an ouster lawsuit,” explained St. Louis attorney Elkin Kistener. He says only a few are filed each year and essentailly challenge a person’s right to hold office.

Back in 2009, then Attorney General Chris Koster filed a petition to remove a southern Missouri prosecutor citing failure to fufill their duties.

If Kim Gardner does resign, Governor Mike Parson would appoint a replacement.

Wednesday night the Circuit Attorney’s Office responded to the collecting criticism, claiming to lay out the facts. The statement said in part:

“Judges have the sole authority to determine the bond conditions of a defendant. Bond violations and decisions do not solely rest on the shoulders of prosecutors. In this matter, prosecutors asked on several occasions for higher bonds, and those requests were denied.”

Circuit Attorney's Office response late Wednesday.
Circuit Attorney's Office response late Wednesday.(Circuit Attorney's Office)

Gardner will be holding a press conference Thursday at 2:30 p.m.