CLAYTON, Mo. – Prosecutors from St. Charles, Lincoln, Franklin, Jefferson, Warren, and St. Louis counties are offering support to the next St. Louis Circuit Attorney. Kim Gardner abruptly announced her immediate resignation on Tuesday.
Area prosecutors have been communicating with each other and announced on Tuesday that they are ready to provide expertise and legal advice to the next top prosecutor in the City of St. Louis.
Joe McCulloch is one of those prosecutors. He is the current prosecuting attorney for St. Charles County, and said troubles with the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office affect the entire region.
“It absolutely does,” McCulloch said. “Crime is a regional problem.”
He said it’s too soon to know the length of time area prosecutors will be spending assisting St. Louis City but hopes the result is an office fulfilling its duties. McCulloch pointed to prosecuting cases and finding treatment for those who need other assistance.
“You got to have somebody there to make sure that gets done, and at present, in the City of St. Louis, we don’t have that,” he said.
A resolution pertaining to the anticipated assistance from the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office sparked discussion during Tuesday’s St. Louis County Council meeting in Clayton. Councilman Dennis Hancock proposed a resolution calling on the prosecutor’s office to seek reimbursement from the city for any expenses used to help, and to first seek approval from the council.
The resolution failed by a 4-3 vote. Some of the opposition expressed concerns that the resolution was premature.
Governor Mike Parson said on Tuesday that he expects to name Gardner’s replacement by Friday. He said there have been many qualified candidates expressing their desire to help. The governor added that the political party affiliation of the candidates will not matter.
“It’s about who I think will go in there and do the best job to right this ship in the City of St. Louis,” Parson said.