Criticism, calls for Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner to resign come from all political parties in wake of downtown crash

Criticism, calls for Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner to resign, come from all political parties in...
Criticism, calls for Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner to resign, come from all political parties in wake of downtown crash
Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 2:18 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones criticized Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner Wednesday in the wake of an accident that left a teen critically injured.

Janae Edmondson, 17, was hit by a car near the intersection of St. Charles and 11th Streets in downtown St. Louis Saturday night; she was in town for a volleyball tournament. The suspect in the accident, Daniel Riley, 21, was out on bond from charges of being armed and stealing a gun in August 2020. That case was supposed to go to trial in January this year, but we learned from sources that the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office wasn’t ready. They had to dismiss the case and refile it the same day. The judge put Riley on house arrest with a GPS tracker.

Records show he violated the house arrest 51 times. Gardner’s office never filed a motion to revoke RIley’s bond. Both of Edmondson’s legs were amputated as a result of the accident.

Tuesday, the Circuit Attorney’s Office issued a statement about the matter:

A young girl’s life was tragically changed because of the inexcusable behavior of a young man. Our hearts go out to the victim and her family for this unspeakable tragedy that will undoubtedly have a lasting impact not only on her, but her family and loved ones. It’s unfortunate that there are those who choose to twist the facts to take advantage of this situation for their own selfish motives. This is not the time for finger pointing, it’s time to support this family, and ensure that justice is served.

While Mayor Jones hasn’t asked for Gardner to resign, other elected officials have.

28th Ward Alderman Michael Gras, who supported Gardner’s election and re-election bids, issued a statement saying in part, “Her performance in office is only getting worse. She has either dropped or failed to bring charges for crimes that have outraged the community and endangered all of us.”

At the end of his statement, Alderman Gras said, “I am calling on Circuit Attorney Gardner to resign.”

Tom Oldenburg, 16th Ward Alderman, also called for Gardner to resign in a statement posted to Twitter.

He said, “Our City owes accountability to Janae, her family, and countless others.”

Democratic State Representative Rasheen Aldridge, he represents part of St. Louis City, is criticizing Gardner’s response to the wreck.

Rep. Aldridge said:

“As elected officials, we owe it to the people we serve to take responsibility and own our mistakes when our negligence leads to these kinds of tragedies. I’m disappointed in Circuit Attorney Gardner’s tone-deaf response that focuses more on herself than the young woman whose life has been irrevocably changed. I hope she reflects on what her office did wrong and how she can do better in the future so others can visit our great city safely.”

Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher has also called for the immediate resignation of Gardner through a statement, saying in part:

“For far too long her dereliction of duty has resulted in horrible tragedies and a growing list of innocent victims who have seen their lives devastated. Rather than accept responsibility for her actions, she has deflected warranted criticism and refused help from state resources. Her willful neglect of duty has effectively resulted in her abdicating the duties of her office. This must end immediately. I stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who are outraged at her inactions and recognize the safety of our communities must come first.”

Wednesday evening, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey demanded Gardner resign and threatened to file removal proceedings against her if she refuses.

“It’s important for the community to understand the prosecutor’s role in this process,” said a statement from the Circuit Attorney’s Office Wednesday night. “Judges have the sole authority to determine the bond conditions of a defendant. Bond violations and decision do not solely rest of the shoulders of the prosecutors. In this matter, prosecutors asked on several occasions for higher bonds, and those requests were denied.”