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Campaign finance complaint filed against Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner
Election 2020 • Circuit attorney

Campaign finance complaint filed against Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner

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Gardner and Carl

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner (left) is being challenged by former prosecutor Mary Pat Carl in the Democratic primary on Aug. 4, 2020 (file photos)

Updated with statement from the St. Louis circuit attorney.

ST. LOUIS — A supporter of Mary Pat Carl, the Democratic challenger in the race to become the city’s next top prosecutor, has filed an ethics complaint against Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner.

Fred Wessels, a former state representative and city alderman, filed a complaint July 21 with the Missouri Ethics Commission alleging Gardner violated probation of a 2019 ethics violation by failing to file within 48 hours a report disclosing a $78,000 in-kind donation from a political action committee based in Washington, D.C.

Wessels’ complaint claims Gardner “failed to report her contracts and payments to the media company who produced the video on her campaign page. That video is also on the circuit attorney website.” Wessels also complained Gardner’s campaign filed its April and July reports late.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Gardner said: “At the current time, Citizens to Elect Kimberly M. Gardner is in full compliance with all ethical and legal requirements.”

Gardner, 44, elected in 2016 as the city’s first Black female circuit attorney, is facing challenger Mary Pat Carl, 43, a former assistant prosecutor in the Circuit Attorney’s Office in next week’s Democratic primary.

Wessels donated $200 to Carl’s campaign in December, according to a Jan. 15 finance report filed by Carl’s campaign.

“Kim Gardner has no one else to blame — she is the treasurer of her own campaign committee,” Wessels said in a press release dated July 26.

Complaints filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission are not public records; Wessels provided a copy of his complaint to the Post-Dispatch.

Complaint filed by Fred Wessels
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