BREAKING: St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner accused of violating financial reporting laws

Kim Gardner, the St. Louis Circuit Prosecutor who has been in the news due to her attempt to prosecute the viral video armed McCloskey couple may be in some trouble herself.

Per JustheNews, St. Louis Circuit Prosector Kim Gardner has purportedly violated state law requires elected officials to report all trips and who paid for the travel and lodging, according to an investigation by a local TV station.

Gardner is part of national story for attempting to prosecute a St. Louis couple on gun-related charges in connection with a June 28 incident in which protesters entered their private, gated community in a social justice march.

The couple, Mike and Patricia McCloskey, have said they feared for themselves and the safety of their home.

KMOV reports a News 4 investigation has found that St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has been flying all around the country and the globe with organizations who want to reform the criminal justice system.

However, it appears she has violated the law, by not reporting the trips.

Sources tell News 4 Gardner is a frequent flyer. At times during her tenure as prosecutor, sources say, she has often been gone from her office a couple of times every month, jetting around on someone else’s dime.

Social media snaps show Gardner posing for pictures in Portugal, listening to conversations in New Haven, Connecticut, smiling with other prosecutors in Houston and linking arms in Selma, Alabama.

They are trips she apparently took in 2018 and 2019, but did not disclose on travel reports, as required by law.

Sources tell News 4 that some of the trips were paid for in full, or in part, by an organization called Fair and Just Prosecution, a group that professes to support progressive prosecutors. The organization has repeatedly applauded many of Gardner’s actions, including the charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey for brandishing guns in the Central West End last month.

The group is also supporting outspoken prosecutors such as Marilyn Mosby in Baltimore, who has also recently responded to criticism about her travel, and acknowledged she took a number of trips, saying they were properly reported.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell, too, accompanied Fair and Just Prosecution on trips, including one to Europe, but it’s unclear if he ever disclosed them.

“When something isn’t reported, the public has a right to ask well, why wasn’t it?” said Patrick Ishmael with the Show Me Institute.

Ishmael says travel reporting requirements are important to building trust in government.

“Elected officials have an obligation to be transparent and that’s especially true related to their duty because the public wants to know their officials are working for the interest and not someone else’s,” he said.

St. Louis’ laws require every elected official report their travel and whether it was paid for with public or private funds.

Sometimes, Missouri law also mandates information about who paid for travel and lodging.

In 2017, Gardner reported that Fair and Just Prosecution paid for trips to New York, Chicago, Seattle and Philadelphia. That year, she also filled out a city form that didn’t mention those trips, but did disclose trips to Cleveland, Washington DC and Atlanta.

According to a public information request, she did not disclose any trips at all in 2018 or 2019. To that end, it’s so far been unclear just how many trips she’s been on. It is also not known who went with her.

“Whether its 1 or 100 trips, trips like that should be reported and I think the public should expect it,” Ishmael said.

In St. Louis, other elected officials are also failing to disclose their travel as required by law.