Greitens Team Wants Special Prosecutor

Claim Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner "Tainted"

Kevin Killeen
April 24, 2018 - 5:42 pm

Kevin Killeen/KMOX

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Accusing Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner of making a "disaster" of the first case, lawyers for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens ask a judge to disqualify her from handling the new charge of computer tampering.

"Something is going on here," said Greitens defense attorney Jack Garvey. "The appearance of impropriety is strong ... an embarrassment to a once-proud Circuit Attorney's office."

Garvey argued that Gardner's handling of the invasion of privacy case -- strewn with allegations of perjury and failure to share evidence -- looks so bad that she will be "looking for redemption" with the second case.

Greitens lawyers asked the judge to appoint a special prosecutor to deal with the new charges.

Rising in her defense, Gardner told the judge she can handle the new case fairly, that she would get help from the Missouri Attorney General's office, and that the former chief investigator who has been accused of perjury in the first case has had little to do with the second.

Judge Rex Burlison asked both sides to submit suggestions on who could serve as a special prosecutor, in case he decides to appoint one. No word on when he might rule.

Meanwhile, the judge turned his ire on someone absent from the courtroom today: The attorney for the ex-husband of Greitens' former lover, Albert Watkins.

Burlison complained that Watkins violated a gag order in the case by holding a news conference on the court house steps Monday in which Watkins admitted receiving $100,000 cash from a mystery donor in connection with the Greitens affair.

"I had fully intended to talk to him about indirect contempt today," Burlison said from the bench. "Through his giving a press conference, I understand he's now being called as a witness before the House committee."

A Missouri House committee is investigating allegations against the governor separate from the St. Louis criminal cases.

Burlison denied a motion filed by Watkins to quash a subpoena that would force him to hand over financial records associated with the $100,000 he received.

Greitens attorney Jim Martin says he now wants to depose Watkins sometime later this week to ask him who gave him the money, and why.