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Special prosecutor for Gardner contempt hearing used to work for St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office

Allison Lee is now a family law attorney who once served as a child abuse prosecutor.

ST. LOUIS — The 22nd Judicial Circuit has appointed a former Assistant Circuit Attorney to serve as the special prosecutor for the indirect criminal contempt hearing against St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner and one of her former assistant circuit attorneys.

Allison Lee is a Sandberg Phoenix law firm shareholder, who currently practices family law. She is a former assistant state attorney for Miami-Dade County, Florida, and also served as a special prosecuting attorney for the indirect criminal contempt docket in St. Louis County.

As a prosecutor, Lee handled child abuse cases, according to her online biography. She served in the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office from 1998-2002.

The case she will be prosecuting centers on former Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Desilets. He appeared before Judge Michael Noble Thursday to explain why he missed a trial involving a shooting on April 10, and had another assistant circuit attorney tell the judge he couldn’t be there due to a knee injury.

The judge then set a hearing for April 24 for him to appear and explain his absence in court, which Desilets also failed to attend.

Noble then filed what's known as a show cause order, demanding Gardner or someone from her office and Desilets appear before him Thursday so he could determine if there is enough evidence to charge him and Gardner with contempt. 

Desilets told the judge that by the time he made it to court on April 24, the door was already locked.

Noble also noted how Desilets alone had a caseload of 104 felonies, and how that makes it impossible for him to avoid having multiple scheduling conflicts in different courts, and, despite knowing this, Gardner has done nothing to fix it. The judge noted how the case involves the shooting of an 11-year-old girl, who was shot in her arm while sitting in her bedroom.

He resigned Monday, but his resignation does not affect the contempt proceedings that have already begun against him. 

That hearing is scheduled for May 30.

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