Missouri attorney general subpoenas case dismissal list as part of Kim Gardner probe

ST. LOUIS — The Missouri Attorney General’s Office issued a wide-ranging subpoena to the St. Louis courts on Wednesday seeking a trove of records as part of a suit to remove Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner from office.

The subpoena offers a further glimpse into the case Attorney General Andrew Bailey is building against Gardner, who Bailey argues has been neglectful of her duty as the city’s top prosecutor.

Bailey’s document asks for, among other things, a list of cases dismissed by Gardner’s office and the average length of time cases are pending — two data points that could be key as Bailey’s office tries to illustrate that Gardner has failed to prosecute some cases while allowing others to languish for years. Those same issues have been repeated targets of criticism of the office in recent years.

In an effort to oust Gardner, Bailey filed a “quo warranto” petition late last month amid a firestorm over prosecutors’ handling of a pending robbery case that left a man free despite violating his bond dozens of times. Police said the man, Daniel Riley, caused a crash that pinned a 17-year-old volleyball player from Tennessee between two cars and resulted in both her legs being amputated.

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Along with the case dismissals, Bailey argued that Gardner’s office has failed to keep victims informed and has failed to review or act upon thousands of cases submitted by St. Louis police.

The attorney general’s office immediately issued a 34-point subpoena to the circuit attorney’s office, seeking records including victim complaints, copies of Gardner’s personnel file and copies of warrant applications considered and refused.

Officials then notified Gardner and her top aides they would be deposed. They also asked for documents from Mayor Tishaura O. Jones and Comptroller Darlene Green.

The courts have until March 20 to provide the information sought in Wednesday’s subpoena.

Gardner must respond to the attorney general’s petition by next week.

Kimberly Gardner is the first Black St. Louis circuit attorney. She was first elected in 2016. A brief look at her career and controversies. Video by Beth O’Malley

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