ST. LOUIS – Kim Gardner is officially out as St. Louis Circuit Attorney, resigning more than two weeks earlier than she originally planned. Governor Mike Parson has appointed his general counsel, Evan Rodriguez, as the acting interim St. Louis circuit attorney. He has already been sworn in to the position, and we understand he will be in the office Wednesday morning to assess where things stand.

Rodriguez, 28, will be in charge until governor Parson appoints an official new circuit attorney. We’re told Parson hopes to do that by this Friday. A team from Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s office is also there to assist in the transition.

In her statement, Gardner said that she worked with St. Louis County prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell to ensure a comprehensive transition plan. Prosecutors from around the St. Louis area are offering to help as well.

A spokesperson for governor Parson shared that of the 18 people who applied to replace Gardner as circuit attorney, the governor is interviewing five of them. Three of those interviews are slated to happen Wednesday.

Parson and Bailey spoke about the way forward for the circuit attorney’s office.

FOX 2 also spoke with Re. Daryl Gray, a Gardner supporter who was in a meeting with the governor Tuesday.

“I think that she took so many hits that she finally had to make a decision what’s in personal best interest,” Gray explained. “We talked about qualifications -what we thought the qualifications. We thought it should be somebody that is not polarizing, we made it very clear it should be somebody that has a knowledge, historical knowledge, cultural knowledge of this community we stressed should be an African-American.”

“We need somebody in there right now just to stabilize things and make sure we’re doing the functions of the prosecutor’s office to make sure we’re going after hard core criminals in this city and in this state,” Parson shared.

A spokesperson for governor Parson said in a best case scenario, the new circuit attorney would be sworn in this coming Monday, but it’s unclear if that will be possible.

The new circuit attorney will serve out Gardner’s current term, which ends in January 2025.