Amid moves by the Missouri Legislature and the Attorney General to remove her from office, St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Kim Gardner has announced her intention to step down effective June 1. Gardner blames the Missouri State Legislature for hearings this session to oust her, saying that the proposed bill strips the right for the community to have a say in the criminal justice system.

“If I can stop that from happening, I will, even if that necessitates my considering leaving the office to which you have elected me,” she wrote in a statement.

The office of Gov. Mike Parson will immediately start the replacement process according to the Missouri Constitution and Section 105.050, RSMo.

“We are committed to finding a candidate who represents the community, values public safety, and can help restore faith in the City’s criminal justice system,” in a statement.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey released a statement on her resignation announcement.

“There is absolutely no reason for the Circuit Attorney to remain in office until June 1st. We remain undeterred with our legal quest to forcibly remove her from office. Every day she remains puts the city of St. Louis in more danger. How many victims will there be between now and June 1st? How many defendants will have their constitutional rights violated? How many cases will continue to go unprosecuted?”

Calls for her removal increased following her office failing to put a 21-year-old man back in jail for robbery after violating his bond more than 50 times. That man was a suspect in a traffic crash that cost a Tennessee teenager both of her legs.

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