St. Louis Circuit Courts swamped by MHP tickets, request help fr -

St. Louis prosecutors, swamped by troopers' tickets, request help from Attorney General

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St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Garnder. Credit: KMOV St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Garnder. Credit: KMOV

ST. LOUIS ( -- The St. Louis Circuit Attorney has requested the assistance of the Attorney General to prosecute thousands of new traffic tickets. 

In July, the Missouri Highway Patrol began policing highways within the City of St. Louis, but no one is prosecuting them, a News 4 Investigation revealed earlier this month.

READ: Troopers patrolling city highways write thousands of tickets, but none have been prosecuted

Since the MHP began patrolling St. Louis roadways, data obtained by News 4 shows have produced more than 4,500 tickets or reviewable actions thus far.

Wednesday morning, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner called on Governor Eric Greitens and Attorney General Josh Hawley for help prosecuting the tickets and misdemeanor cases.

“We cannot absorb what is tantamount to an unfunded mandate,” said Gardner, as she urged Grietens to direct the Attorney General’s Office to help. “We are not staffed or funded to handle the additional workload presented by the Missouri Highway Patrol. The best and most valuable use of our limited resources and manpower is to protect public safety by addressing the rising violent crime facing our community.”

On Saturday, Attorney General Josh Hawley sent Gardner a letter offering to provide “assistance, support and resources necessary to protect the lives, property and constitutional rights of the residents of St. Louis,” offering support for prosecuting cases related to recent protests regarding the Jason Stockley murder case. 

To that letter, Gardner said thanks, but no thanks. She sent a reply letter stating her office does not need help with protest-related cases.

As of midday Tuesday, the SLMPD has brought four protest-related cases to the Circuit Attorney's Office. 

The Attorney General's Office responded to a request for comment Wednesday, saying that they are reviewing the Circuit Attorney's Office request. 

For now, thousands of tickets remain in legal limbo. Preliminary data obtained by News 4 shows that approximately 200 people have already pleaded guilty to their tickets and paid their fines. 

This is a situation News 4 will continue to cover. 

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