EDWARDSVILLE - Madison County State's Attorney William Haine and other local officials have made statements after the resignation of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner was announced on Thursday. Her resignation takes place effective June 1, 2023.
Gardner drew significant criticism after Daniel Riley sped through a stop sign in downtown St. Louis and caused a crash that critically injured a 17-year-old volleyball player - Janae Edmundson - who had to have her legs amputated. Riley was on electric monitoring for armed robbery and had violated his terms of bond several times, but Gardner's office failed to file any motions in the case to revoke his bond.
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Madison County State's Attorney Haine said: "As a region, we need to continue to do better. The justice system is complex and relies on the efforts of innumerable unsung public servants to produce a good and just result for citizens. When it goes haywire, whether through mismanagement, neglect, or lack of appropriate resources, the results are often true human tragedies where criminals roam free, victims are left without lawful recourse, and once-beautiful neighborhoods wither.
"I look forward to the efforts the new Circuit Attorney will make to make toward reinforcing the rule of law at the heart of our region – the historic and great City of St. Louis. We at the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office stand ready to help however we can in that process."
Gardner made this statement on Thursday about the situation: "It is not the first time the legislature has proposed bills that would take away our city's power - that has happened in nearly every legislative session since I took office. I can absorb those attacks, and I have. But I can neither enable nor allow the outright disenfranchisement of the people of the City of St. Louis, nor can I allow these outsiders to effectively shut down our important work. But I cannot be the final Circuit Attorney to ever be elected in St. Louis. You must be able to have a voice in your criminal justice system."
State Senator Erica Harriss released the following statement following Gardner's resignation announcement:
“The resignation of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is good news for the constituents I represent in Illinois who work and frequently visit the city. They deserve to be able to enjoy St. Louis and feel safe without fear of becoming victim to the lawlessness Attorney Gardner has allowed. I hope today’s announcement is a step in the right direction so that violent criminals are once again held accountable for their actions.”
Mayor Tishaura O. Jones had this response to the announcement:
"In February, I said Circuit Attorney Gardner should take accountability for her office and do some soul-searching to determine whether or not she wants to continue in her role. She has clearly taken that advice to heart by offering her resignation.
"Circuit Attorney Gardner made history by becoming the first Black woman to lead the office. There’s no doubt she has faced more obstacles than her predecessors because of it. Our Circuit Attorney’s Office is a critical public safety partner, and it must be managed and staffed effectively to help protect constitutional rights and deliver justice.
"No one wanted to see the Circuit Attorney’s Office fail, and my administration has reached out consistently to the Office to offer assistance. We are hopeful that the governor will work with local leaders to appoint a successor who reflects the values of communities across St. Louis."
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