State legislators asked the Attorney General’s Office of St. Louis about resubmitting issues

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State representatives focused on the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office on Monday, where thousands of cases have not been prosecuted.

The law being discussed is the decision on when the governor should be allowed to appoint a public prosecutor. Initially, the bill that was heard in the Committee on Crime Prevention and Public Safety of the House of Representatives last Thursday, was aimed at the Office of the Attorney General of St. . Louis. During the review, members of the community discussed changes that could determine when the governor should be allowed to appoint a public prosecutor.

No one else in the Attorney General’s Office of St. Louis participated in the hearing held last Thursday, but in the second hearing on Monday, representatives of Kim Gardner’s office testified against it.

“Our crime division is able to handle it successfully, and our recent decisions prove that,” said Chief Warrant Officer for the District Attorney’s Office Chris Hinckley to the committee. “There is no reason to ask for help in that area.”

A proposal by Rep. Lane Roberts (R-Joplin) to solve crimes. The request is for the governor to appoint special prosecutors for 35 murders per 100,000 people.

“Now, the state thinks that if I’m successful, it will replace us as citizens and say, ‘Don’t worry about who you voted for, we will rule,'” Redditt Hudson, a former St. Louis. the office and the specialist for Gardner’s office, said. “We have an elected person, with procedures, constitutional and legal, to do the job.”

According to Roberts, some of the two politicians who spoke with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner through the meeting last year to talk about the thousands of cases that have not been charged in the City of St. Louis.

“We discussed how we could help the district attorney’s office,” Roberts said in court Thursday. “Unfortunately, the only request he made was money. Money can’t do the trick.”

While testifying, Hinckley and Gardner agreed that the office needed more money to raise the salary. According to him, workers are still leaving to work for the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office instead.

“I think one of the things that will help a lot is to be able to raise our salaries,” Hinckley said. “People leave our office and go to Mr. Bell, and remember, everyone is in it for the money. It’s a big increase.”

Hinckley’s starting salary in the Attorney General’s Office is about $50,000.

Below House Bill 301, prosecutors will have “special” authority to charge first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, first- and second-degree robbery, and kidnapping driving force. The special prosecutor will be able to hire 15 special assistant prosecutors and 15 staff.

Representative Bill Hardwick (R-Waynesville) asked Hinckley about several issues. Hinckley said the agency has 3,500 pending cases, none of which are violent crimes.

Hinckley also called on the state to have no gun laws.

“You throw guns at everything, and then you ask us why crime is increasing?” And do you try to contact the prosecutor?” Hinckley. “Is the prosecutor doing his best?”

According to Jane Dueker, who is standing for the Police Office in St. Louis Metropolitan, the Office has a list of more than 4,000 cases awaiting a decision from the attorney general, some of which are criminal offenses, or criminal charges should be filed.

“It looks like the bill is going to put behind bars a collection of violent crimes,” Hinckley said. “From the state, with the police and prosecutors, violent crimes will never be possible and have not been postponed in the review or release.”

Some members of the committee emphasized their displeasure with the situation in which the chairman made a second review, but Gardner did not come.

“I will say, and I think most members of my committee, are very disappointed that he could not come today, but I don’t think we should be surprised that he not doing his job,” Rep. Alex Riley (R-Springfield) said. “It seems to be his MO”

He said that out of the 3,500 cases, 50% are drug related, while the other cases are crimes or property damage.

A spokeswoman for the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, which oversees Kansas City, said the office had no records.

The St. Louis County District Attorney’s office could not. Louis did not provide the number of cases remanded on Monday, but he said in a statement, “There are many requests for charges that we are discussing with the resources available.”

Other committee members said Gardner’s office should see this as a help, rather than a loss of authority.

“To me, it seems to help you men and not hurt you more,” said Rep. Justin Hicks (R-Lake St. Louis). “It allows you to prosecute more cases.”

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce testified before the committee last week that Missouri is in the top 10 in the nation for violent crime. , this is a case of economic inequality.

“From a business perspective, crime really is an economic issue,” said Kara Corches, vice president of government affairs with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. “Other issues that keep business leaders up at night, public safety is a major concern, and I think that speaks volumes. It’s not just a St. Louis or Kansas issue. City. This is a rural issue; this is an urban issue, and this is an urban issue.”

St. Louis Police Chief Robert Tracy was at the Missouri Capitol last Wednesday to testify against the state’s control of the police department. He told lawmakers that he had not met with Gardner, but would soon sit down with him.

“I think it’s appropriate that we sit down with him to have a conversation before making a statement about what happened,” said Tracy. “It’s what he wants to do or not.”

On Thursday afternoon, the public attorney’s office issued a statement after the committee’s initial review that the bill of it will not improve criminal behavior.

HB301 is a political act based entirely on unconstitutional premises. The idea that anything in the bill will improve our violent crime situation is absurd. He opposes the idea of ​​creating a bipartisan department that is completely devoid of relationships, organizational knowledge, criminal justice partnerships, and experience. needed to prosecute these complex cases will do anything to prevent crime.

Addressing the root causes of violent crime is an urgent priority, and should be a focus for our entire region. The Attorney General’s Office welcomes the opportunity to work with lawmakers and make appropriate recommendations to resolve them.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office

Other parts of this crime package include punishing those under the age of 17 who are caught carrying a firearm in public without supervision, and assisting those who are released. back from prison to get back on their feet by offering them a photo identification card and offering Medicaid services for six months after their release. .

The bill was not voted out of committee. The next public hearing on the legislation is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

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