Republicans have increasingly cast a skeptical and wary eye toward progressive leftist prosecutors backed by billionaire Democratic megadonor George Soros, who they accuse of deliberately implementing soft-on-crime policies that include low or no bail requested for arrestees and reduced or dropped charges for violent repeat offenders, among other failures to uphold justice and protect innocent victims.
In that regard, Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is working via the court system to remove from office Democratic St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner over her alleged failures to do her job as a prosecutor, the Conservative Brief reported.
It was in February that Missouri AG Bailey first announced that he was taking legal action against St. Louis CA Gardner over her "years of willful neglect" in actually prosecuting cases in her office as well as performing the other duties required of her by state law.
"As Attorney General, I want to protect the people of St. Louis, and that includes ensuring prosecutors protect the public," Bailey said in a Feb. 23 press release. "We gave Circuit Attorney Gardner the chance to do the right thing and resign, she has refused to do so, and my office filed a quo warranto at 12:01 PM to remove her from office immediately."
The press release proceeded to detail a case that presumably served as the impetus for the removal effort, which was an incident in which a violent criminal out on bond, Daniel Riley, had run over an innocent teenage athlete in town for an event, Janae Edmondson, and caused her to have both of her legs amputated.
Riley had first been charged with armed robbery and other crimes in 2020 and then refiled lesser charges in 2022. Between the first filing and the refiling, Riley was alleged to have committed 54 separate violations of the conditions of his pre-trial release, then allegedly committed another 50 violations between the refiling and incident with Edmondson -- but at no time did Gardner's office ever seek to revoke Riley's bond.
"The quo warranto points out that Ms. Edmonson’s injuries are the direct result of years of willful neglect from Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner," the press release stated. "As the Circuit Attorney, Respondent is morally, ethically, and legally responsible for the conduct of her office. For years, the Circuit Attorney’s Office has failed to (1) prosecute cases to resolution, (2) has failed to inform and confer with victims, and (3) has failed to even review and file cases submitted by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department."
That press release from AG Bailey also included the 19-page petition he filed in St. Louis circuit court to plead for the removal of CA Gardner from office.
The legal filing provided details on the Edmondson incident as well as other examples of violent criminals not being properly prosecuted and outlined roughly a dozen constitutional provisions, state laws, and local ordinances that Gardner herself has routinely violated.
It also highlighted how overworked her understaffed office is with a massive backlog of thousands of violent felony cases, including hundreds of murder cases, how she has failed to even bring -- much less actually resolve -- hundreds of other felony matters, and how she has neglected or refused to move on evidence of felony crimes provided to her office by the police.
Bailey ultimately alleged that she has failed to prosecute criminal cases, that she failed to fully inform and confer with victims and their families, and that she has refused to exercise her judgment to determine if there is sufficient evidence to justify prosecutions. He asked the court for Gardner to immediately be removed from office and held liable for any court costs generated.
Fox News reported that, at the time of that filing, AG Bailey said of CA Gardner in a statement to the outlet, "This is about a quantum of evidence that demonstrates her failure to prosecute cases, failure to inform and confer with victims in cases and failure to file new cases that are referred by law enforcement agencies," and added that she is "creating" instead of "protecting" victims by way of her inactions.
The outlet further noted that Gardner received financial backing from Soros-funded organizations in both the 2016 and 2020 elections, and has openly bragged about her soft-on-crime policies on her campaign website by announcing that she has "made jail and prison a last resort, reserved for those who pose a true public safety risk," while limiting "the arrest and detention of people accused of misdemeanors and low-level felonies."
Whether the St. Louis court will actually rule in favor of the Republican attorney general and remove the Soros-backed progressive prosecutor from office remains unclear at this point in time, but Bailey has shown that he is serious about addressing Gardner's apparent failures and shortcomings.