St. Louis District Attorney Kim Gardner, who received support from billionaire George Soros for her election campaign, faced harsh criticism from Missouri Judge Michael Noble last week. Noble called her office a “rudderless ship of chaos” due to the ongoing negligence and lack of attention to serious criminal cases.
Gardner’s office has been getting closer to contempt of court charges as cases go un-prosecuted and her attorneys continue to miss court dates, leaving the state unrepresented in criminal cases.
Appointed in 2015 to the 22nd District Court by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, Judge Noble voiced serious concerns after several court dates passed with prosecutors failing to appear, particularly the refusal of Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Desilets to show up in court when scheduled.
Noble expressed frustration with Gardner’s apparent disregard for the judicial process, stating, “There is sufficient evidence of disdain and disrespect for the judicial process to determine that both Ms. Gardner and Mr. Desilets’ conduct support a finding of indirect criminal contempt.” He also emphasized that it is Gardner’s responsibility to manage the caseload of each staff member and prevent the resulting chaos.
The judge was particularly dismayed when Gardner failed to appear in court once more, sending Assistant Circuit Attorney Rob Huq, who could not answer any of the judge’s questions about the case at hand. This particular case involved suspect Steven Vincent Jr., accused of firing a gun recklessly in a St. Louis apartment building, injuring an 11-year-old girl.
This case is just one of many that the Soros-funded prosecutor has mishandled. Judge Noble has observed dozens of cases sent into disarray due to missed court dates, poor scheduling, and other missteps.
Noble is not alone in his criticism of Gardner. Judge Scott Millikan also ordered Gardner to provide an explanation for why she should not be found in contempt of court and face fines or even jail time for failing to send anyone in a case involving an 18-year-old facing a murder charge.
Gardner has faced increasing political pressure to resign or be removed from office, with both Democrats and Republicans claiming she is failing to fulfill her duties.
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is now taking official steps to have Garner removed from office, filing a petition quo warranto, the legal mechanism under a state statute that allows the attorney general to remove a prosecutor who neglects the job’s duties.
Gardner has responded to Bailey’s efforts by calling them a “political witch hunt” and an attempt at “voter suppression.” She has refused to resign.
Judge Noble has given Gardner until May 30 to present evidence defending their negligent behavior. If found guilty, Gardner could face fines and even jail time.
This situation highlights the importance of holding elected officials accountable for their actions and ensuring that those who are meant to protect citizens are doing their jobs effectively.