Mayor Krewson cuts off cash flow for Kim Gardner's lawyers

Mayor Krewson takes the gravy bowl off the table.

Kevin Killeen
May 15, 2019 - 6:22 pm
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson in the KMOX studio.

(KMOX)

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ST. LOUIS--(KMOX)--No more taxpayer money--at least for now--for Kim Gardner's legal troubles.

Mayor Lyda Krewson cut off the flow of money the Circuit Attorney can use for outside lawyers handling the fallout from last year's attempt to prosecute Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.

Krewson blocked a plan before the Board of Estimate and Apportionment that would have let Gardner transfer another $225,000 from her prosecutor's budget into legal services.

As chairman of the board, the mayor argued that Gardner already has $186,000 on hand to deal with the case.

"You know, personally I think that's a lot of legal fees right there--$186,000.  I guess the question is: Do you need five law firms? If you only have a certain amount in the budget, then maybe you can streamline that."

Gardner was not in the room for the discussion, but her ally in the cause, board member Comptroller Darlene Green argued that Gardner already has the money in her budget, and should get the money she needs to defend herself.

Caught in the middle, board member Aldermanic President Lewis Reed lamented that the rising cost of the perjury probe Gardner's is facing is "hard to justify to taxpayers."

Reed suggested a compromise--give Gardner half the money for now and revisit the rest later.

But the mayor wouldn't budge, saying that "most folks when they get a search warrant, they believe they have to comply with it."

The mayor was referring to Gardner's month's long battle to defy a police search warrant of her emails, a search warrant upheld by the Missouri Supreme Court. Gardner has asserted that the search warrant is "overly broad" and would violate her "attorney-client privilege."

Green warned the board that they were abandoning "generally accepted accounting practices" to fail to set aside money for anticipated expenses.

Unwilling to settle for less, Green refused to support Reed's plan to give Gardner half.

The matter was tabled until a later time.

Meanwhile, a separate $250,000 in taxpayer money has already been set aside in the City Counselor's budget to handle the expected costs of the special prosecutor investigating Gardner.

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