St. Louis, MO – St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is in jeopardy of losing her law license and will have to appear before a disciplinary panel in connection with allegations of misconduct.
The circuit attorney’s name appeared on the list after an investigation by Missouri’s chief disciplinary counsel found probable cause that Gardner had committed professional misconduct.
The exact violations under consideration haven’t been released yet but the complaint was filed by a legal team that represented former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens shortly after the charges against him were dismissed, KMOV reported.
Attorney Alan Pratzel serves as the chief disciplinary counsel for Missouri and his office has the responsibility of investigating complaints against attorneys in the state.
The Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel is an agency of the state and separate from the Missouri Bar Association, KMOV reported.
Gardner charged Greitens in 2018 while he was governor, St. Louis Public Radio reported.
The circuit attorney hired an investigator named William Tisaby to verify accusations that the governor had taken semi-naked pictures of his lover and transmitted them electronically.
But she later ended up dropping the charges against Greitens after questions were raised about her investigator’s conduct during the investigation, according to St. Louis Public Radio.
Police asked the judge to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of perjury against Tisaby.
St. Louis attorney Gerard Carmody took the case to a grand jury and Tisaby was indicted on seven counts of perjury and evidence tampering, St. Louis Public Radio reported.
Greitens’ counsel complained that Gardner had an ethical obligation to correct the record when Tisaby gave false information during a deposition at which she was present, KMOV reported.
The complaint against the prosecutor said that Gardner was with Tisaby when he made the false statements and had a professional responsibility to make sure her witness’s testimony was accurate.
Gardner has argued that she wasn’t representing Tisaby so she had no obligation to flag his lies, KMOV reported.
The special prosecutor who investigated Tisaby had implied at the time that Gardner herself could be the subject of a criminal investigation for her role in it, but the statute of limitations for any charges against the circuit attorney expired in March.
Critics complained about how long it took for the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel to take action on Gardner but Washington University School of Law Professor Peter Joy said that office is historically reluctant to interfere during elections and Gardner was running for re-election in 2020, KMOV reported.
Garner will likely have to make an appearance before a disciplinary panel who will determine a finding on the allegations.
The Missouri Supreme Court wields the power to determine the circuit attorney’s ultimate punishment based on the panel’s findings, KMOV reported.
Gardner could be facing anything from an admonishment to losing her license to practice law.
Her office released a statement on May 4 that insisted she didn’t break the law, KMOV reported.
“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,” the statement read. “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.”