Judge blocks Gardner from paying outside law firms

Judge blocks Gardner from paying outside law firms

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A judge has blocked St. Louis’ top prosecutor from paying potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills to five outside law firms representing her.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Circuit Judge Joan Moriarity granted on Wednesday a preliminary injunction sought by a St. Louis resident, Charles Lane. Moriarity wrote that Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office did not comply with state law when entering into the contracts, and that there was not enough public money set aside to pay the contracts at the time they were signed.

The lawsuit was filed in April 2019.

A spokeswoman for Gardner said Moriarity’s ruling would be appealed.

Gardner has said she had to hire outside firms because of a conflict of interest with the City Counselor’s Office. Gardner, who is black, also has sued Lane and others, alleging a racist conspiracy against her. She also claims that investigations of her and her former investigator are retaliation for prosecuting former Gov. Eric Greitens in 2018.

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