The St. Louis prosecutor who charged a couple with brandishing weapons against Black Lives Matter protesters last summer could have her law license revoked for professional misconduct.
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who charged Mark and Patricia McCloskey following a well-publicized incident in July, has been accused of hiding evidence and fabricating facts while prosecuting then-Gov. Eric Greitens, according to court documents reported Wednesday.
Gardner could have her law license revoked following a professional misconduct investigation and impending hearing before a disciplinary panel, the Washington Examiner reported.
A private investigator later charged with perjury and evidence tampering was contracted by Gardner to help conduct an inquiry into Greitens, who at the time was accused of inappropriate extramarital contact.
Greitens resigned his office in May 2018 after accepting a plea deal. He had been indicted on one count of invasion of privacy, a felony, for allegedly taking and transmitting a photograph of someone who was partially nude.
Now, Gardner is accused of concealing investigation details from her team, failing to disclose facts to Greitens' legal team, and misrepresenting evidence to a court of law.
Gardner, who faces the prospect of suspension or losing her law license, has denied the allegations. In a 41-page response, she said the investigation is "another attempt" by political opponents to diminish her character.
"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," the document said, adding the investigation of Greitens was "not wrongfully motivated" and that the prosecutor did not "hide" any material from the relevant parties.
On Tuesday, Gardner’s office issued another statement.
"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 said.
"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."
Following the death of George Floyd, several hundred demonstrators flooded the McCloskeys’ luxury community on June 28 intending to march on the home of Democrat Mayor Lyda Krewson. The couple, who live on a private street, said they heard a loud commotion and saw a large group of people break an iron gate marked with "No Trespassing" and "Private Street" signs.
Video posted online showed Mark McCloskey wielding a long-barreled gun and Patricia McCloskey waving a small handgun. No shots were fired.
Gardner charged the McCloskeys with unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering. The pair pleaded not guilty to the charges in October, claiming the crowd broke a fence surrounding their home and threatened them.
Following reports she used the charges against the McCloskeys in fundraising emails for her reelection bid, Gardner was removed from the case in December. A circuit judge said the prosecutor raised the appearance of initiating a "criminal prosecution for political purposes.”
The McCloskeys, claiming Gardner harbored "bias" against them, last month asked for their criminal case to be "revisited" by a grand jury.
"Due to the bias of Kim Gardner’s office, we believe the grand jury process was tainted and should be reviewed and revisited," said Joel Schwartz, the McCloskeys’ attorney.
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