Court hearing in effort to remove Gardner was held on Tuesday

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 3:43 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 18, 2023 at 4:59 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The first court hearing as part of Missouri Attorney General’s Andrew Bailey’s effort to remove St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner from office took place Tuesday afternoon.

The hearing, originally set for April 11, was moved to 1:30 p.m. on April 18 to accommodate the availability of the parties involved. This was the first court date in an effort to oust Gardner from office. The movement was sparked two months ago when a man out on bail allegedly ran a red light and hit Janae Edmondson, causing her to lose her legs.

On Feb. 23, Bailey filed a quo warranto petition to remove Gardner from office. In the petition she was accused of “willfully neglecting her duties” and creating a “toxic and dysfunctional culture in her office.”

At the Tuesday hearing, Gardner was in the courtroom at the start but Bailey did not attend. Appointed Judge John Torbitzky listened to both sides as their attorneys argued procedural points in the growing likelihood the case will head to trial.

Gardner did not speak, and her attorneys argued the entire case should be tossed from the court. A number of Gardner supporters were also inside the courtroom.

After the hearing finished, the Circuit Attorney’s office released a statement saying in part, “A full out attack not only against St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, but against her entire staff.”

Bailey’s office said Gardner’s office has not provided any documents. The Circuit Attorney’s Office described the concern that the request included information about crime victims.

When Gardner left the hearing during a recess, News 4 Investigates Lauren Trager tried to speak with her, but Gardner was not taking questions.

This comes after Gardner held a round table on Tuesday, calling the AG’s push to remove her “baseless.