ST. LOUIS – A special judge has been appointed to oversee the Missouri Attorney General’s effort to remove St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner from office.

John Torbitzky has been named as the special judge in this case, according to court documents obtained by FOX 2. He has served with the Missouri Court of Appeals-Eastern District since 2021.

The development comes one day after Missouri AG Andrew Bailey filed a writ of quo warranto against Kim Gardner, accusing her of neglecting her duties as circuit attorney. Gardner had been given a noon ultimatum to resign, but refused to do so.

Outrage against Gardner stems from an incident last weekend, in which an out-of-town teenager suffered a life-changing injury due to a driver who was out on bond awaiting trial for armed robbery.

Janae Edmondson, 17, was visiting St. Louis with her family for a volleyball tournament. The family was walking in downtown St. Louis around 8:40 p.m. last Saturday when a speeding driver failed to yield and collided with another vehicle. That second vehicle struck Edmondson, who has had both of her legs amputated since the crash.

The man accused in the crash, 21-year-old Daniel Riley, was out on bond from a 2020 armed robbery case. Last August, he was given a personal recognizance bond that required him to be tracked by GPS and stay at home. Court records show he violated house arrest dozens of times leading up to the crash.

Gardner’s office, in a statement Wednesday, alleges that prosecutors asked for higher bonds several times, though judges denied such requests. She says the most recent effort to address Riley’s bond conditions came in January 2023, though says “there was no response” upon asking the court for a hearing date over Riley’s bond.

Prior to Gardner’s response, the Missouri Attorney General issued an ultimatum for her to resign by noon Thursday or face removal in the case. She faced mounting calls from Missouri lawmakers and St. Louis Aldermen to resign, while St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones added that Gardner “needs to do some soul-searching” after recent developments.

The incident adds to many waves of criticism and challenges facing Gardner’s office. She was previously disciplined last year amid allegations of concealing evidence in a high-profile case. Former Attorney General Eric Schmitt also accused her of concealing evidence in efforts to vacate the conviction of Lamar Johnson.