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Missouri auditor seeks public’s help in finding former St. Louis circuit attorney

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(The Center Square) – As a state review approaches the three-year mark, Republican Missouri State Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick is asking the public for information on the whereabouts of former St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen requested an audit of the city of St. Louis and the circuit attorney in January 2018. Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway, who preceded Fitzpatrick, began requesting documents for an audit from the circuit attorney in June 2021.

Fitzpatrick took over the audit in 2023 after his election to the position. He served Gardner and her office with a subpoena to obtain documents to complete the report. Fitzpatrick’s office stated some requested documents were provided while requests for others were delayed or ignored.

Lat May, Gardner resigned abruptly as Fitzpatrick was headed to court to have a subpoena enforced. Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey dropped legal action to remove Gardner the day after her resignation.

Fitzpatrick held a press conference in St. Louis on Monday and announced the audit is nearing completion. However, he issued a media release stating Gardner “should answer questions that can provide additional clarity about the decisions she made while serving as circuit attorney.”

Fitzpatrick complimented the willingness of current Circuit Attorney Gabe Gore to provide the auditors with full access. Under Gardner’s leadership, auditors weren’t allowed on site.

“As I said when she abruptly resigned from office to avoid complying with a subpoena we were prepared to petition the court to enforce, Kim Gardner will be held accountable and we will do everything we can to make sure she answers for her time as Circuit Attorney,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement. “Right now her location is unknown and all efforts to reach out to her have been unsuccessful. However, we will do everything we can to locate her and get the answers to our inquiries that only she can provide and that taxpayers deserve.”

While Fitzpatrick believes he has enough information for a thorough report through access and reports they obtained, he said Gardner should answer questions to provide clarity on the decisions she made while in the office. Attempts to schedule an interview through Gardner’s legal counsel were unsuccessful, Fitzpatrick said. Daily phone calls to telephone numbers associated with Gardner, close associates, and former coworkers and attempts to serve her with a subpoena all have been unsuccessful.

“This is a pattern of behavior with Kim Gardner, who hasn’t shown a willingness to be transparent or accountable,” Fitzpatrick said. “Without question, she knows our audit is ongoing and that we want to speak with her about her time in office, but she has made no effort to comply with our requests or respond to our inquiries. I hope she will reconsider her decision to ignore the responsibility she has to cooperate with our audit process and come forward to provide answers to us and to the people of St. Louis.”

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