KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker will serve as special prosecutor in an invasion of privacy charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.
Earlier Monday, Judge Rex Burlison allowed the case to move forward with a special prosecutor and prohibited St Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and her office from any further involvement in the case.
In a statement from Gardner’s office, the prosecutor said she “continues to believe in the credibility of this victim” and plans to share evidence her office collected with Peters Baker’s office.
It’s not clear how quickly Peters Baker could refile charges. If charges are refiled, the case would remain in the City of St Louis Circuit Court.
Peters Baker's office released a statement Monday afternoon:
"I was informed today by the Circuit Court in St. Louis, MO., that my office was named as special prosecutor in the Gov. Greitens’ case. I quickly assembled a team of prosecutors and other staff to begin our process to review this matter.
No elected official relishes involvement in such difficult matters as an investigation of criminal wrongdoing by another official, but we also understand our duty.
I directed my staff that we will go about our review of this case as we review any case. It will be thorough and our decisions, as I have stated before, will be made without fear or favor."
Ed Dowd, the governor's lawyer, praised Garnder's removal in a statement to 41 Action News.
"I am delighted that Judge Burlison has ordered Kim Gardner and her office to have nothing to do with this case in the future. She has a ridiculous number of conflicts and should have recused herself," Dowd said.
This is not the first time Baker has taken on a high-profile case.
In 2013, a judge selected her to review an alleged sexual assault case in Maryville involving a high school football player.
Baker declined to file felony charges. Instead, she accepted a misdemeanor guilty plea.