ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and her Kansas City lawyer didn’t show up Wednesday in their fight to oust a special prosecutor investigating Gardner.
An assistant circuit attorney did show up on Gardner’s behalf but the judge would not allow him to speak, saying he hadn't entered his appearance.
It seemed to even catch Judge Joan Moriarty off guard that neither Gardner nor her K.C. lawyer, Dawn Parsons, showed up.
The hearing was supposed to be about Gardner's push to disqualify special prosecutor Jerry Carmody.
Carmody led the grand jury investigation leading to the indictment of Gardner's former private investigator William Don Tisaby.
Tisaby is accused of lying during the investigation into former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens. Carmody continues to lead a grand jury investigation into Gardner herself.
In court, Carmody said it was "unprofessional" that Gardner’s lawyer didn’t show up, despite what he said were five different scheduling conversations to make sure they picked an appropriate court date.
Judge Moriarty confirmed after going into chambers to check her email and voicemail. She hadn't heard from anyone about why they wouldn’t attend the hearing. She said she would set another hearing date without their input. She added that she wouldn't change it even if Gardner and her lawyer Parsons later say they can't make it. She stopped short of dismissing the case entirely.
The Circuit Attorney's Office responded with the following statement:
“Today's court date was a simple pretrial status conference for which we were prepared. Our goal was to set a trial date, and we did. In the practice of law, it is a common occurrence for attorneys to cover court dates for each other, despite not having been entered on a specific case. Assistant circuit attorneys cover simple court dates for each other on behalf of the office on a regular basis, without entering their apparent. Private attorneys also cover court hearings on a regular basis for each other. Just this morning, one member of the private defense bar made court announcements for four other attorneys without entering his appearance. It is unclear why this common legal practice wasn’t recognized this morning by the court.”