(The Center Square) – The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed with a three-person disciplinary panel and publicly reprimanded St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner for ethical violations. She was fined $750.
Gardner agreed to a “joint stipulation” in April and admitted to errors in her office’s prosecution of former Gov. Eric Greitens. Greitens resigned as governor in 2018 after Gardner and other lawmakers began investigating alleged misconduct.
The Supreme Court could have punished Gardner with a reprimand that included requirements, suspension, probation or disbarment.
As previously reported, Gardner’s office investigated and a grand jury indicted Greitens after a woman alleged he took a compromising photo and threatened to use it as blackmail if she spoke of their relationship. William Tisaby, a private investigator hired by Gardner to work on the Greitens case, pled guilty in March to a misdemeanor charge of evidence tampering in the case.
Gardner, a Democrat, was elected in 2017 as St. Louis’ first Black female circuit attorney and re-elected in 2020. The settlement states Gardner “should have been more vigilant in ensuring the prosecution’s discovery obligations were properly addressed in the expedited and highly public proceedings relating to the prosecution of Mr. Greitens.”
Last month, Circuit Court Judge Jason Sengheiser ruled against Gardner in a lengthy open records dispute related to the Greitens case. John Solomon, editor in chief of Just the News, was represented by Dave Roland, director of litigation at the Freedom Center of Missouri, in the case. St. Louis taxpayers might pay approximately $80,000 in attorneys fees to Roland for Gardner’s refusal to provide public documents.