The Missouri auditor Thursday issued a subpoena to embattled and combative St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner for financial records and policy guidelines.
Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick said it’s part of an ongoing audit of the office requested by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen over four years ago under Democrat state auditor Nicole Galloway.
“We’ve tried to work with the Circuit Attorney’s Office but my patience has run out,” Fitzpatrick wrote in a statement. “Serious questions have been raised about the performance of Kim Gardner’s office, and the fact that she refuses to produce basic financial documents for review is extremely concerning.
“The people of St. Louis, through their Board of Aldermen, have requested this audit, so when Ms. Gardner continues to evade her responsibility to produce critical documents as requested, she isn’t just refusing to cooperate with the State Auditor’s office, she’s also refusing to cooperate with her own constituents.”
Fitzpatrick said he requested the “bank statements, credit card statements, policy guidelines, and other expenditure information” on Jan. 23, with a deadline of Feb. 14.
The statement said the auditor’s office has already released more than 20 reports as part of the Board of Aldermen’s requested audit. The audit is expected to be completed this year.
Gardner may not even outlast the audit. Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has filed a court petition asking a judge to remove her from office for “willful neglect” of her duties, as a cacophony of criticism from across the nation has dogged her over a stunning lack of prosecutions in a city that’s among the most violent in America.
Public patience with Gardner reached a breaking point after a suspected robber still awaiting trial in a 2020 case – and who also piled up over 100 bond violations – allegedly sped through an intersection and drove a car into a teen girl volleyball player Feb. 18, causing her to lose both her legs.
Gardner has defied bipartisan calls for her to resign. Last week, she was a no-show for a legislative hearing on a bill that would allow the governor to appoint a special prosecutor in violent cases her office declines to prosecute.
Gardner has said that in 2018 she declined to prosecute 64% of the cases brought to her office.