ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner called the Missouri Attorney General’s effort to oust her from office a “gross power grab” in legal filings.

With just about 90 minutes left before her deadline to respond, her attorneys went right after Attorney General Andrew Bailey.

Gardner points out she was twice elected, and in arguments filed by her attorneys, she said ‘unelected’ Bailey is trying to quote “…thwart the will of the people (and say) ‘I know better, so she’s fired.’”

Dr. James Tucker described Bailey’s action as “…disrespecting the voters of St. Louis, so it’s called voter suppression.”

Tucker said he continues to stand by his votes for Gardner.

“She has the credentials. She’s keeping her promise as a candidate,” he said. “That is transformation, and when you transform something, you are going to have changes, and people are going to disagree with you.”

Gardner’s court response stated that she did not personally handle the criminal cases in question. Her attorney’s called those cases “…failures by subordinates in her office.”

“They don’t stay around long. That’s a problem,” said Defense Attorney Scott Rosenblum when describing Gardner’s staff.

He said the Circuit Attorney’s Office is down from about 16 attorneys who were once working the most serious cases to four.

Rosenblum said Gardner does bear responsibility.

“There’s a reason why everyone is running off the ship, the latest of which is Mr. Teer,” he said. “I mean, it’s a crisis situation down there; something has to give.”

Gardner’s legal filing added, “Only two prosecutors ever have been ousted under these provisions, both more than 80 years ago, and both for Pendergast-era naked corruption in refusing even to investigate whole classes of cases with which they had personal involvement.”

A spokesperson with the Attorney General’s Office said the following:

“We remain committed to our assertion that Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is not doing her job to protect the people of the city of St. Louis. We’re moving as expeditiously as possible to hold her accountable, restore the rule of law, and find justice for the people of St. Louis.”