The case for St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s (D) ousting has continued to grow but she replied to allegations leading the city and its legal system in “chaos” with arrogance and defiance.
“You gonna have to remove me.”
The embattled George Soros-backed attorney has herself, or by representative of her office, routinely failed to appear at court in addition to other supposed miscarriages of justice. That didn’t stop the elected official from showing up at Central Baptist Church Sunday to tout her innocence during a roundtable discussion on youth and violence.
“I’m not leaving. I’m not resigning. I’m not doing nothing,” Gardner told those gathered. “You gonna have to remove me.”
Along with calling out Judge Michael Noble’s recent remarks related to charging her with contempt of court, the circuit attorney painted herself the victim of the press as well as she accused them of wanting “to capture every word I’m saying so they can use this as a sound bite for criminal contempt or a vehicle to try and take me out of office.”
“What you’re seeing is a witch hunt,” Gardner asserted.
On Thursday however, Noble had a bevy of facts to support his appointment of a special prosecutor regarding contempt as he contended, “The circuit attorney’s office appears to be a rudderless ship of chaos.”
“Ms. Gardner is the circuit attorney and it is her duty to manage the caseload of each staff member,” the judge said before Assistant Circuit Attorney Rob Huq who had been dispatched to represent his boss at court. the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Noble then proceeded to outline how Huq’s colleague, Assistant Circuit Attorney Christopher Desilets was also on the hook for contempt.
“Mr. Desilets has approximately 104 felony cases. Any prudent practitioner would expect such a caseload to create countless irreconcilable conflicts. It does not appear she has made any reasonable efforts to prevent the resulting chaos,” the judge said. “It appears that Ms. Gardner has complete indifference and a conscious disregard for the judicial process.”
“There is sufficient evidence of disdain and disrespect for the judicial process to determine that both Ms. Gardner’s and Mr. Desilets’ conduct support a finding of indirect criminal contempt. Furthermore, any attorney’s violation of a court’s order constitutes an intentional disobedience and shows a clear intent to disregard the power and authority of the judicial system process,” Noble detailed.
Previously, it had been reported that Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) had filed a petition of quo warranto in February to begin the process of removing Gardner for neglecting her duties.
“As AG, I want to protect the people of St. Louis, and that includes protecting victims of crime and finding justice for them,” Bailey said in February. “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.”
Missouri AG moves forward with effort to remove Kim Gardner from office https://t.co/yQPgCEG2lf pic.twitter.com/UALV52Oq8Z
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 25, 2023
A hearing was held on April 18 and Noble set the first hearing pertaining to criminal contempt for May 30 amid constant delays as prosecutors routinely fail to appear, including a murder trial and a case of first-degree assault that left an 11-year-old girl wounded.
“It’s really not unusual,” Desilets had argued, after he showed up late to Noble’s courtroom having already forced the delay of a trial over a supposed medical issue.
Gardner is up for reelection in 2024 having been backed in 2016 and 2020 by Soros and, according to the Dispatch, had a more than 100 percent turnover rate of attorneys in her first two years on the job.
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