St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner resigned on Thursday after years of accusations that she willfully neglected the duties of her office.
her resignation in a letter to Republican Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri, in which she did not reference any of the criticism her office faced but instead said she was resigning in order to deter Republicans from appointing a special counsel in her stead.
"The most powerful weapon I have to fight back against these outsiders stealing your voices and your rights is to step back," she wrote. "I took this job to serve the people of the City of St. Louis, and that's still my North star."
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey was the most recent to publicly berate Gardner. He responded to her resignation by demanding that Gardner not delay in leaving the office.
“There is absolutely no reason for the Circuit Attorney to remain in office until June 1st. We remain undeterred with our legal quest to forcibly remove her from office," he said in a
"Every day she remains puts the city of St. Louis in more danger," he added. "How many victims will there be between now and June 1st? How many defendants will have their constitutional rights violated? How many cases will continue to go unprosecuted?”
Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe also released a statement excoriating Gardner.
“Kim Gardner’s decision to resign as the St. Louis Circuit Attorney is a major step forward in restoring the rule of law in St. Louis. This is the only decision she has made during her tenure with which I agree," Kehoe wrote.
"Dysfunction in the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office, and Kim Gardner’s unwillingness to take violent crime seriously, has hindered St. Louis for years. This resignation is long overdue. Further, Kim Gardner should never run for this office again," he added
Gardner's office had struggled after numerous high-profile circuit attorneys resigned in protest. On Wednesday, her office was also dealt a
when another assistant circuit attorney died in a car accident with several other vehicles.
She was first elected as circuit attorney in 2016 and re-elected in 2020. She
tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from a group funded by left-wing billionaire George Soros.
Gardner made headlines when she
against a St. Louis couple who were filmed pointing their guns at Black Lives Matter protesters in order to protect their property.