The Missouri Attorney General has given embattled Democratic St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner an ultimatum amid public safety outcries following a major incident over the weekend: resign or be removed.
Attorney General Andrew Bailey, a Republican, gave Gardner “until noon tomorrow” to announce her resignation, after a motorist who repeatedly violated his bond conditions on earlier charges crashed and injured a teenage volleyball player.
“We are giving Kim Gardner until noon tomorrow to resign. If she refuses, she will face immediate removal proceedings in the form of a writ of quo warrant brought by our office,” Bailey revealed on Twitter.
Janae Edmondson, 16, visited St. Louis with her family last Saturday for a volleyball tournament. While the family in the downtown area, a speeding driver failed to yield and caused a collision, ultimately striking Edmondson. The incident took place around 8:40 p.m.
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Edmondson only survived due to her father’s quick thinking and military training, KTVI reported.
One of her legs was severely damaged and the other was maimed.
She remains hospitalized in critical condition.
Attorney General Bailey accused Gardner of facilitating crimes, rather than preventing them.
“As AG, I want to protect the people of St. Louis, and that includes protecting victims of crime and finding justice for them,” Bailey said.
The statement added: “Instead of protecting victims, Circuit Attorney Gardner is creating them. My office will do everything in its power to restore order, and eliminate the chaos in St. Louis caused by Kim Gardner’s neglect of her office.”
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Many officials, including Democrats, joined in criticizing Gardner.
Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, a Republican, said Gardner should resign, calling her “incompetent and grossly unfit to hold her office.”
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Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher urged her to step down.
Democratic St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones said Gardner had “lost the trust of the people,” but did not say she should resign.
The suspect, 21-year-old Daniel Riley, was being held at the St. Louis City Justice Center on five charges, including unlicensed operation of a vehicle and felony assault.
At the time of the incident, he was out on bond for an August 2020 robbery case.
Fox’s St. Louis affiliate KTVI reported the teen had already committed to playing Division II volleyball in college, but the severity of her injuries are likely to prevent her from ever playing again.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
The attorney general’s action was widely praised on Twitter.
A GoFundMe campaign to support Edmondsons’ family raised more than $343,000 as of Wednesday night.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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