ST. LOUIS – A spokesperson from the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday night that Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner had filed her motion in response to the attorney general’s lawsuit.
There is an effort to remove her from office after a backlog of court cases. Last month, a judge said Gardner had until Tuesday’s deadline to respond; if not, she would face a judgment by default.
Her filing denies wrongdoing and asks the courts to dismiss the lawsuit. You can read Gardner’s motion to dismiss here. A motion to stop the discovery process was also filed.
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey had filed quo warranto a petition to remove Gardner from office in February. Bailey said she failed to do her duties. Gardner responded to the accusations, saying she would not step down and defend her action in the Riley case.
“A quo warranto petition must allege the official engaged in a corrupt intentional act of misconduct or a corrupt intentional failure to act in the performance of official duties, and a mere failure of such a duty is insufficient. In short, Mr. Bailey must allege a willful and intentional failure, not negligence,” states Gardner’s motion to dismiss.
Gardner faced multiple criticisms and challenges after a horrible crash caused 17-year-old Tennessee volleyball player Janae Edmondson to lose both of her legs. The driver accused of the accident, 21-year-old Daniel Riley, was out on bond in a robbery case and had multiple bond violations.
Prominent attorney, Ronald Sullivan, has been approved to represent Gardner in her legal battles. Sullivan is no stranger to high-profile cases, having been involved in the Harvey Weinstein case and representing former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez, who was acquitted of a double murder. Gardner’s request for an out-of-town attorney to represent her was accepted, as indicated by a judge’s signature on the document.
Not everyone is convinced that Gardner’s legal team will be able to mount a successful defense. Prominent St. Louis defense attorney Scott Rosenblum, who previously worked on Gardner’s prosecution of former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, believes that the attorney general has a case for Gardner to be removed from her position.
Gardner’s supporters, on the other hand, claim that the effort to remove her is politically motivated and could be retaliation for her prosecution of Greitens. They point out that voters elected her because she campaigned on bringing reforms to the prosecutor’s office.
The Missouri Attorney General maintains that Gardner has failed to fulfill the duties of her office, citing a backlog of cases and a shrinking staff size. The situation remains uncertain as Gardner’s legal battles continue.