ST. LOUIS – Two more prosecutors, in charge of the most serious cases, have now walked out of the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office. They are two former Kim Gardner employees who just last week took the brunt of contempt hearings brought by judges. Those prosecutors showed up without the backing of their boss, who did not appear at either hearing.

Alex Polta and Chris Desilets both in front of judges last week and argued Gardner knew both their individual health challenges and their overwhelming caseloads.

Desilets described to a judge Thursday how they’re often double booked.

“Almost everyone has more than one piece of business in a busy circuit, and so with the inability to be two places at once, we are at one place on time, and the rest we are not,” he said.

Desilets confirmed to FOX 2 that he resigned Monday. He added that it’s effective immediately. That means his 104 felony cases will now go to the last two remaining in the Violent Crimes Unit: Sai Chigarupati and Matt Field.

Attorneys like Rob Huq, who is supervisor of general felonies, also addressed his workload to a judge last week. Keep in mind that he said this is before the latest two walk outs.

The judge asked, “The court was informed that you have 397 felonies and 301 misdemeanors, does that sound about right?”

“For me personally, your honor?” Huq said.


“I would take that to be correct.”

Huq clarified to say that as supervisor, many of those cases are reassigned to others. They could be reassigned to the two remaining violent crimes unit prosecutors, as well as to the 13 prosecutors handling other cases, such as rape and white collar crimes.

Polta’s last day was Friday, under unusual circumstances. FOX 2 obtained a letter from Gardner, in which she demanded that Polta either “resume your duties” or “provide the office with the required documentation to support your absences…,” “(or) we will process your resignation.”

Polta says he provided the Circuit Attorney’s Office with the same medical documentation he brought to a judge during the contempt hearing. Polta also responded by email, “You cannot process my resignation.   You can fire me or not.”

Gardner notified staff at 4:20 p.m. Friday, saying, “Team: we want to wish Alexander Polta well on his new endeavors.”

The 22nd Judicial Circuit Court weighed in, saying through a spokesman that it’s “deeply concerned” and will continue working through the circuit attorney’s staffing crisis to “ensure the fair and efficient administration of justice.”

The Circuit Attorney’s Office responded with the following statement:

The backbone of the Circuit Attorney’s Office are the hardworking men and women who review and issue cases on a daily basis. While we have had some high-profile departures, the office continues to seek justice for the people of the City of St. Louis. The CAO has made adjustments to the workload to ensure all cases are covered and is actively recruiting talented attorneys. The prosecutor’s office continues to be an excellent training ground for those seeking experience in the criminal justice system, and we continue to receive resumes from qualified attorneys. Despite constant criticism and scrutiny, the team continues to pull together to serve the City of St. Louis under the leadership of Circuit Attorney Gardner.