ST. LOUIS – The process is underway Tuesday to replace Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner when she resigns June 1. Meanwhile, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey still wants her to vacate the office sooner.

There are two fronts happening Tuesday in the Kim Gardner story. One is a hearing slated for 1:30 p.m. at the Civil Courts building. That concerns the ongoing effort of attorney general Bailey to remove Gardner from office immediately.

The other development focuses on Governor Mike Parson, who will appoint Gardner’s replacement. He is slated to meet Tuesday with St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and faith leaders about the search for the new circuit attorney

A total of 18 people have applied to replace Garner as the St. Louis circuit attorney.

Governor parson was accepting applications until noon Monday. It’s understood that the applicants include four judges and current state senator Steve Roberts Jr.

FOX 2’S St. Louis Post-Dispatch partners are reporting that St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney David Mueller has also applied.

Governor parson told the Post that there are some perfect candidates and that he has been pleased and impressed with some of those who have applied. We understand that over the next two weeks aides to the governor are expected to narrow the list of applicants to six, then they will present governor Parson with a choice of two or three finalists.

Parson will then interview the finalists and make a decision.

Gardner’s replacement will serve out the remainder of her current term, which is up in January 2025.

We understand the person who is appointed could run for a full term in the election next year.

Gardner was under fire to resign for some time. She finally agreed to step down in exchange for state lawmakers dropping their push to approve a special prosecutor to handle felony cases in the city.