Embattled St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has resigned after months of pressure from lawmakers.
On Thursday, Gardner thanked her staff for their hard work and told them she is resigning effective June 1.
In a letter to Gov. Mike Parson, Gardner said she was leaving to prevent the state Legislature from passing a bill that would strip her of most of her power and “permanently remove the right of every St. Louis voter to elect their Circuit Attorney.”
The news comes after Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey vowed to fire Gardner for breaking the law by taking graduate courses in nursing school.
Judge John Torbitzky ordered Gardner to turn over documents related to her nursing school courses, according to The Washington Examiner.
Bailey accused Gardner of breaking the law and said she failed to perform her official obligations by taking nursing classes at St. Louis University’s School of Nursing.
“Nursing school is not one of her official obligations,” Bailey said in a news conference on Wednesday. “She’s missing court and failing to discharge her official duties.”
Bailey filed 2 subpoenas on Tuesday requesting all records related to Gardner’s nursing school schedule and her clinical work.
“If the Circuit Attorney wants to be a nurse, she needs to cease pretending to be a prosecuting attorney,” Bailey said on Wednesday.
Bailey moved to fire Gardner in February after a robbery suspect, who violated his bond 50 times, caused a high-speed crash that seriously injured a teenage volleyball player.
16-year-old Janae Edmondson was in St. Louis to play in a volleyball tournament. She was walking downtown with her family when 21-year-old Daniel Riley caused a high-speed collision with another vehicle that pinned Edmondson between 2 cars.
She survived because of her father’s military training. But both of her legs were amputated and she is confined to a wheelchair. A GofundMe raised over $800,000 for her medical expenses.
Bailey blamed Gardner’s office for allowing Riley to remain free after violating his bond dozens of times.
Bailey gave Gardner an ultimatum —- resign or be forced out.
But Gardner blamed a judge for not signing a verbal request to revoke Riley’s bond.
“This is not the time for finger-pointing,” she said in February.
Gardner, St. Louis’ first Black circuit attorney, won re-election by a landslide in 2020. She was accused of failing to prosecute violent criminals and leaving victims and their families uninformed about their cases.
Gardner, 47, argued that Bailey’s efforts to remove her from office were politically and racially motivated.
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