Southeastern Legal Foundation and Missouri Freedom Center filed a lawsuit against the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office on behalf of its client, award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon, for refusing to respond to a Sunshine Law request seeking roughly two and a half years’ worth of communications between the Office of the St. Louis Circuit Attorney, Kimberly Gardner, her staff, and numerous individuals such as George Soros, the Missouri Workforce Housing Association, state Representatives Stacy Newman and Jay Barnes, and others. Ms. Gardner is one of the nation’s first prosecutors bankrolled by liberal megadonor George Soros.
Ms. Gardner first ignored the request and then claimed that the requested documents were exempt from Missouri’s Sunshine Law. In the lawsuit, Mr. Solomon alleges that Ms. Gardner’s refusal to respond was a knowing violation of Missouri’s Sunshine Law and seeks the release of the records, civil penalties, and attorneys’ fees.
Solomon’s legal team, from the Southeastern Legal Foundation and the Freedom Center of Missouri, said in a filing in April that those decisions by Gardner’s office were knowing violations of Missouri’s sunshine law. In that filing they asked for the release of the documents and for the awarding of several thousand dollars’ worth of damages pursuant to state statute.
The open-records request sought documents related to Ms. Gardner’s failed 2018 prosecution of former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, a former Navy SEAL and rising Republican star who was forced to resign less than two years into his term. Ms. Gardner accused Governor Greitens of felony invasion of privacy for allegedly threatening to release a picture of his scantily clad girlfriend if she talked about their affair. The Soros-funded prosecutor had to drop the case, however, after admitting she didn’t have the photo or other evidence to sustain the charges.