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St. Louis Magazine's Nicholas Phillips Discusses Kim Gardner

Kim Gardner being sworn in as St. Louis Circuit Attorney
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s no exaggeration to say that St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is the most controversial elected official in the city. Mayor Lyda Krewson may have protests at her house every night, but Gardner provokes passionate feelings from both supporters and critics. She’s either a reformer taking on the corrupt status quo or an incompetent idealogue playing the race card. It’s easy to find both opinions on the streets of St. Louis — and hard to find much of anything in the middle.

A new long-form profile in St. Louis Magazine takes on Gardner’s three and a half years in office. Over more than 8,000 words, staff writer Nicholas Phillips examines Gardner and some of the biggest controversies that have dogged her time in office — and, in many cases, finds a far more nuanced picture than has previously been painted. 

The story looks at everything from Gardner’s prosecution of then-Gov. Eric Greitens to the “exclusion list” she created for local police officers her office believed couldn’t be trusted, as well as turnover in the Circuit Attorney’s Office and prosecutors’ conviction rate.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Phillips joined us to discuss what he learned about Gardner while reporting the piece — and what the numbers show about her office’s performance.

Listen:

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Sarah Fenske joined St. Louis Public Radio as host of St. Louis on the Air in July 2019. Before that, she spent twenty years in newspapers, working as a reporter, columnist and editor in Cleveland, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and St. Louis.

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