St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner announced Thursday that, after weeks of blistering pressure from Missouri lawmakers, she would indeed resign, effective June 1.
In a letter addressed to Gov. Mike Parson, Gardner makes no mention of the turmoil in her office nor the extensive staff departures in recent weeks. Instead, she says she is stepping down to prevent the state legislature from passing a bill that would strip her of most of her power and “permanently remove the right of every St. Louis voter to elect their Circuit Attorney.”
“The most powerful weapon I have to fight back against these outsiders stealing your voices and your rights is to step back,” she writes. “I took this job to serve the people of the City of St. Louis, and that’s still my North star.”
News of her departure sent shockwaves through the halls of the two courthouses in downtown St. Louis where victims, defense attorneys, judges and even Gardner’s own staffers had complained for months about critical office departures and widespread dysfunction. It also reverberated through the Capitol in Jefferson City where lawmakers had been debating a bill to strip her of power.