A St. Louis-area prosecutor whose initial campaign was partially funded with money from a George Soros-aligned group is facing possible disbarment following growing allegations of professional misconduct in a case involving former GOP Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.
Kim Gardner, the Circuit Attorney who filed charges against homeowners Mark and Patricia McCloskey alleging they illegally brandished firearms at BLM protesters who broke into their gated community last summer, is at risk of losing her license to practice law after a professional misconduct probe and an impending hearing on the matter.
A finding by the Missouri Chief Disciplinary Counsel said there is probable cause to believe Gardner is “guilty of professional misconduct” for allegedly falsifying facts and hiding evidence during her prosecution of Greitens, court documents revealed last week. As such, the case will now proceed to a disciplinary panel, according to a Missouri state website.
In January 2018, Gardner tapped a private investigator named William Don Tisaby to assist with an inquiry into Greitens, who won office in 2016, after he was accused of inappropriate extramarital relations with an anonymous woman identified only as “K.S.”
Tisaby would later be charged with evidence tampering and perjury, but not before Greitens was indicted on a single count of felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking and electronically transmitting a photo of a partially nude woman. The charge was eventually dropped in May 2018, but Grietens would resign later the same month as part of an arrangement to drop an additional felony computer-tampering allegation related to charity donor list of veterans (Greitens is a retired Navy SEAL).
Now, authorities believe that Gardner hid details from the investigation into Greitens from her staff and then failed to disclose the facts to lawyers for the former Missouri govern, while then misrepresenting the evidence in court.
For her part, Gardner has denied the allegations even as she faces the possibility of having her law license taken away. Ironically, she is blaming her political enemies — the same accusation that Greitens and his supporters made when she filed charges against the McCloskeys.
“The Information is another attempt by Ms. Gardner’s political enemies — largely from outside St. Louis — to remove Ms. Gardner and thwart the systemic reforms she champions,” said a 41-page court filing on April 30. The filing adds that her probe of Greitens was “not wrongfully motivated” and that she didn’t “hide” any relevant information or evidence from various parties.
Gardner said much the same thing in a statement last week.
“As the Circuit Attorney has repeatedly proven time after time, she has acted in full accordance with the law during the investigation into former Governor Greitens,” she said, according to KMOV-TV. “Despite several investigations attempting to uncover illegal wrongdoing by her office in this case, none has ever been found. We are confident that a full review of the facts will show that the Circuit Attorney has not violated the ethical standards of the State of Missouri.”
Her cases against the McCloskeys appear to be falling apart as well.
A state judge dismissed the case against Mark McCloskey in December, accusing Gardner of “rais[ing] the appearance of impropriety and jeopardiz[ing] the defendant’s right to a fair trial” after she sent out a fundraising email mentioning the case.
“Like a needle pulling thread, she links the defendant and his conduct to her critics. These emails are tailored to use the June 28 incident to solicit money by positioning her against the defendant and her more vocal critics,” Missouri Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Clark II wrote at the time.
Clark also removed Gardner from the case and barred her office from handling it. In January, she lost an appeal to be reinstated to the case.
And in April, the couple pressed to have their case “revisited” by a grand jury, citing bias on the part of Gardner.
“Due to the bias of Kim Gardner’s office, we believe the grand jury process was tainted and should be reviewed and revisited,” Joel Schwartz, the attorney for the pair, said at the time, according to the Washington Examiner.
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