ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner admitted misconduct Monday during an ethics hearing that could have cost the prosecutor her law license. Instead, Gardner may only face reprimand for the violations that occurred during her case against Missouri’s former governor.
The ethics hearing that was expected to last up to a week. Instead, it was over in an hour due to an agreement between the city prosecutor and the Missouri Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel.
Gardner was sworn in before a three-member ethics panel after the announcement that she’d made an agreement that will now be reviewed by the panel.
“What we’re here for is five pages of notes that I took that I did not believe that I, one, had in my possession anymore,” Gardner said. “As well as those were my mental impressions, so throughout the very fast-paced schedule, we made reasonable efforts to turn over everything, but those things were not turned over in this case.”
She’s talking about the 2018 invasion of privacy case involving former Governor Eric Greitens.
Gardner acknowledged she failed to turn over notes from an interview her private investigator conducted with the former governor’s mistress. She also admitted failing to turn over the video from the interview, saying she thought the camera was broken.
Gardner’s office eventually dismissed her criminal case against Greitens, who’s now running for U.S. Senate.
“Today’s groundbreaking decision reaffirms what we have known all along – Soros-funded prosecutor Kim Gardner conducted a political witch hunt,” Greitens said.
Gardner did not talk to reporters after the hearing, but her attorney Michael Downey did.
“That is the lowest form of formal discipline that can be entered,” he said.
Downey added that it doesn’t mean this isn’t serious.
“Any formal discipline of an attorney by the (Missouri) Supreme Court is serious,” he said. “And that should not be taken away. That obviously suggests there were some problems here that I think Ms. Gardner recognized and admitted that things were not done well.”
The agreement, including the exhibits, is nearly 700 pages. It still must be reviewed by the ethics panel. Missouri’s Supreme Court must also sign off on the process, which could take several weeks.