ST. LOUIS — Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner says the St. Louis couple she charged with brandishing guns at protesters outside the couple’s Portland Place mansion in June should quit turning their gun case into “political theater.”

(Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

Gardner’s comments were included in a filing Wednesday in response to Mark and Patricia McCloskey’s July motion to disqualify her and her office from the case. Gardner’s office charged the McCloskeys with unlawful use of a weapon for emerging from their home armed on June 28 as Black Lives Matter protesters marched by. The McCloskeys’ lawyer claimed last month that Gardner’s campaign “drew a direct line” between the McCloskeys’ case and a call for campaign donations for her reelection.

The campaign emails, Gardner said, were responding to criticism of Gardner from high-ranking Republican politicians.

“She did not tie her reelection to the prosecution on this or any case,” Gardner’s filing said. “… Not a word discussed, referenced or implied that the future prosecution of this case was related in any way to the circuit attorney obtaining financial support from those receiving the email.”

Gardner’s response, initially filed under seal, was made public over the weekend by the St. Louis Circuit Court.

The McCloskeys’ lawyer, Joel Schwartz, said in a text message Monday that Gardner’s response “is not on point.”

“Amongst other issues, she spends multiple pages detailing the complaints of various politicians and anonymous commentators,” he said. “They are not parties, they are not the prosecutor, and she should understand the difference. We plan on addressing her response in the near future.”

Gardner defeated challenger Mary Pat Carl in last week’s Democratic primary and will face Republican Daniel Zdrodowski in the November general election.


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