Missouri Governor calls out ‘dysfunction’ in St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office

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St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner (Photo Credit: AP/Jeff Roberson) is facing criticism, including from Missouri Governor Mike Parson (Photo Credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI) for her office’s handling of murder cases that have been dismissed due to prosecutors who have been unavailable for court hearings.

ST. LOUIS–Missouri Governor Mike Parson on Friday weighed in on the controversy surrounding St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s management of the office after three murder cases were dismissed because of unresponsive or unprepared prosecutors.

In one of the dropped cases, the defendant, Brandon Campbell, has not been relocated after the case was refiled. The prosecutor assigned to the case before it was dismissed had been on maternity leave.

“The dysfunction in the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office and its unwillingness to take violent crime seriously has once more cost St. Louis families justice,” Parson said in a tweet that included a link to a FOX2 story on the issue.

“Something has to change to stop this ongoing problem that is negatively impacting a vital region of our state. Law enforcement professionals are doing their jobs to fight violent crime. It’s time the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office does too,” Parson said.

A spokesperson for Gardner’s office has already confirmed that after reviewing internal policies after the Campbell case was dismissed, “corrective measures are needed to further prevent any future repeat occurrence of the incident in question.”

More than 90 prosecutors have left the circuit attorney’s office since Gardner took over in 2017.

“Some of those were career prosecutors and they had spent their lives prosecuting murder cases, they leave the office, you replace those with younger inexperienced lawyers,” FOX2 Legal Analyst Chet Pleban said earlier this week. “The inexperience of that particular individual is going to be a problem with getting a conviction.”

A Gardner spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment after the Governor’s comments Friday night.

FOX2’s Elliott Davis and Monica Ryan contributed information for this story.

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