News 4 Investigates: Kim Gardner student at SLU nursing school since 2021, Missouri AG wants answers
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has been enrolled in a post-Master’s nursing program at Saint Louis University (SLU) since 2021, the university registrar’s office confirmed to News 4 Investigates.
This week Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey subpoenaed SLU and another healthcare clinic asking for information about Gardner. The AG is trying to remove Gardner from office, saying she has willfully neglected her duties as the Circuit Attorney.
“If the Circuit attorney wants to be a nurse, she needs to cease pretending to be a prosecuting attorney,” Attorney General Bailey said at a press conference.
The Circuit Attorney’s Office sent News 4 the following statement:
“Circuit Attorney Gardner believes the issues in our criminal justice system often relate to our broken healthcare system. After serving as a line attorney at the Circuit Attorney’s Office and seeing firsthand the underlying issues that drive crime, she became a Registered Nurse. She continues to stay current with classes at Saint Louis University to add to her training and advance her mission at the CAO. The Circuit Attorney has done this at great personal cost to her time with her family and loved ones. Any suggestion that she is not fully committed to her duties as Circuit Attorney is blatantly false.”
According to SLU’s website, the program “prepares students to provide primary health care to patients of all ages.” The site lists eight “core courses” along with multiple specialties, including working with patients.
Bailey sees this as a reason why Gardner shouldn’t keep her job.
“Obtaining a nursing degree is not one of her official duties. Prosecuting criminals is,” Bailey said.
He’s fighting in court to remove her from office, and just filed two subpoenas. One asks SLU to turn over information about the “times, dates, and locations of all classes/clinicals taken by Kim Gardner.”
The other subpoena is to a St. Louis based health care practice, asking for hours worked by Gardner and video of her entering or exiting the building.
The AG points to state law that says the St. Louis Circuit Attorney must “devote their entire time and energy to the discharge of their official duties.”
“Every minute she remains in office puts lives and property in St. Louis at risk,” Bailey said. “The criminal justice system in the City of St. Louis has ceased to function, and people are suffering from her unlawful refusal to do her job.”
Several assistant prosecutors have recently resigned from the Circuit Attorney’s Office, including one who is facing contempt of court charges. Concerns have also been raised about the caseload being assigned to attorneys.
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