After months of calls, requests, and demands for her to resign, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced her resignation on Thursday afternoon effective June 1. The decision comes after a tumultuous tenure plagued by allegations of mismanagement and political interference.
Calls for Resignation
Republican leaders had been calling for Gardner’s ouster since April 2021 when she was accused of misusing funds from a settlement with the city of St. Louis to hire private investigators without approval from the Board of Estimate and Apportionment. This sparked an investigation by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt who alleged that Gardner’s office had violated state law in its handling of the case against former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.
The calls for her resignation intensified in May 2023 when a judge ruled that Gardner had violated state law by failing to provide evidence to Greitens’ defense team during his criminal trial. In addition, Missouri Governor Mike Parson said he would not reappoint Gardner if she did not resign before her term ended in January 2024.
Reaction to Resignation
Gardner’s supporters have expressed disappointment at her resignation, citing her accomplishments as the first Black woman elected as St. Louis Circuit Attorney in 2016 and her efforts to reform the criminal justice system in the city. However, some have also noted that it was time for new leadership given the controversies surrounding her tenure as prosecutor.
Meanwhile, Republican leaders have welcomed Gardner’s resignation, praising it as an opportunity for new leadership that will restore public trust in the office of Circuit Attorney and ensure justice is served fairly and equitably in St. Louis County courts.