A judge moved to hold Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner in "indirect criminal contempt" after she failed to show up at a trial and a hearing in an armed robbery case, KSDK reported Thursday.
Gardner's office "appears to be a rudderless ship of chaos," Judge Michael Noble said, noting there was sufficient evidence to support a finding of indirect criminal contempt for both Gardner and Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Desilets.
A special prosecutor will be appointed to oversee the contempt case against Gardner and Desilets, Fox News Digital reported.
"It appears that Ms. Gardner has complete indifference and a conscious disregard for the judicial process," Noble said, addressing repeated failures of her office to show up at hearings.
Judge Noble sharply criticized Gardner and Desilets' conduct, saying it constituted "disdain and disrespect for the judicial process."
"Furthermore, any attorney's violation of a court's order constitutes an intentional disobedience and shows a clear intent to disregard the power and authority of the judicial system process."
Gardner was sharply criticized in February in case involving teenage volleyball player Janae Edmondson. Both of Edmondson's legs had to be amputated after she was struck by a car in downtown St. Louis. The car was driven by Daniel Riely, who was under house arrest for a separate crime at the time, as TheBlaze reported.
During the Black Lives Matter riots of 2020, Gardner sought to prosecute Mark and Patricia McCloskey, as TheBlaze reported. The McCloskeys, a St. Louis couple who reportedly feared for their lives, pointed guns at protesters who had broken through a gate on a private street. The protesters were approaching their property.
A judge later dismissed Gardner from the McCloskey case after determining her campaign had use fundraising emails about the high-profile case inappropriately.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) pardoned the McCloskeys August 2021.
The case at issue Thursday which spurred the judge to move for "indirect criminal contempt," involved an 11-year-old girl who was shot in October 2020. The person charged in the case is 26-year-old Steven Linell Vincent Jr. Vincent is accused of firing gunshots into a residential building.
Vincent's mother told KSDK her son has been waiting for the trial for three years.
"We keep coming to court and the prosecuting attorney is not here," she said.
Billionaire mega-donor George Soros funded Gardner's election in 2016 and 2020, according to Fox News Digital. She announced March 29 she will seek a third term, despite efforts by Missouri's Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) to force her out of office, as KTVI reported.
Gardner's and Desilets' contempt hearing is slated for May 30.
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