The number of charges filed in crime-ridden St. Louis, Missouri has already more than doubled in just three months since George Soros-backed progressive prosecutor Kim Gardner resigned in disgrace, it emerged Friday.
Circuit Attorney Gabe Gore, 54, took over from Gardner, 48, after she suddenly quit in May amid multiple efforts to remove her as murders reached a 50-year high.
Since he was sworn in on May 31, Gore has already filed 1,400 cases — more than double the 620 cases Gardner filed during the same time last year, according to a review of cases by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
That surge was in part from prosecuting cases ignored by his progressive predecessor, who left behind a list of more than 4,500 pending charge applications, the report said.
“I don’t think there’s any magic to what we’re doing,” Gore said. “We are just charging the violations of the law.”
Gore said he has prioritized lower-level offenses — ones dismissed under Gardner — which he called “quality of life crimes.”
“These are things that drive people out of the city,” Gore said. “These are things that can’t be considered to be the cost of living somewhere.”
His office is still working through about 2,000 cases that remain in the backlog, which he hopes to clear in early 2024.
To do so, Gore is bulking up the Circuit Attorney’s Office, which was left severely understaffed under Gardner — who lost half the 60 attorneys she started with during her time in office.
Gore said he has since hired 21 new attorneys, still down on the number who left under his predecessor.
“We’re still relying on attorneys coming to work every day and doing more than they should be asked to do,” Gore said. “Everybody’s pitching in and doing the best they can.”
Gore was chosen to lead the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office by Republican Gov. Mike Parson.
Gardner had resigned while facing multiple attempts to boot her from office, including by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who filed a petition quo warranto to forcibly remove her over repeated instances where her office allegedly failed to enforce the law.
She was backed by billionaire George Soros –getting about $116,000 from the Soros-funded Vera Institute of Justice — and came to office promising to hold police more accountable and free inmates who she felt were wrongfully convicted.
In 2019, Gardner also announced an “exclusion list” of about 75 police officers who were no longer allowed to bring cases to her office because their “integrity is compromised.”
She later came under fire for her decision to charge a couple for brandishing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters.
Everything eventually came to head in February, when a speeding car crashed downtown – pinning a teenager between two vehicles and leading to the amputation of both her legs.
The driver, Daniel Riley, remained free after a number of court delays – even though he kept violating his bond.
In the aftermath, many of Gardner’s former allies began calling for her resignation, and Bailey, the attorney general, filed a suit seeking her removal from office.
At first, Gardner called the lawsuit a politically-motivated attack, and blamed her subordinates as the spotlight turned on individual case dismissals and delays.
That anger ultimately led to her resignation.