Missouri Bar Complaint Filed Against Gardner Over Hiring Private Atty On Greitens' Case
The prosecution of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has raised some questions and red flags the last few weeks, including from a former long-time member of the circuit attorney's office who says he was forced out.
Primarily, the two biggest issues in the case have been a lack of any evidence, and no victim who has come forward to accuse Greitens or press any charge in the matter. After that, the manner in which Gardner has pursued the case has also been strange.
Gardner did not use the St. Louis Police Department or federal law enforcement to investigate, she hired private investigators despite having more than a dozen investigators at her disposal in the circuit attorney's office. Also, Gardner hired a private attorney, a Harvard law professor who also represented the family of Michael Brown to advise her team on the case.
Using private attorneys to prosecute criminal cases was at one time a fairly common practice in Europe and early America, but many states, including Missouri started banning the practice during the 20th Century. In 1976, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that public prosecutors cannot hire private attorneys.
Circuit Judge Rex Burlison dismissed a motion from Greitens' defense team requesting that the attorney hired by Gardner be dismissed.
Missouri State Representative Paul Curtman says he found the decision problematic, and says that the state needs answers in a case with stakes as high as this one.
Curtman filed a complaint with the Missouri Bar Association on this move by Gardner, which may be a misdemeanor criminal offense.