AG says he’s weighing action to oust Iron County Sheriff
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Attorney General Andrew Bailey said Wednesday, May 3, he was considering action to oust the Iron County sheriff, who is accused of helping a friend in a parental kidnapping plot.
“Yes, that matter is under review,” Bailey said of Iron County Sheriff Jeff Burkett, who was released from the Jefferson County Jail last week after posting $250,000 bail.
Bailey addressed the case during a news conference as he renewed his call for St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner to resign, citing information his office had obtained that Gardner was attending nursing classes at St. Louis University. Gardner has announced that she will step down from office June 1.
Burkett, along with two sheriff’s deputies, are accused of helping a fourth man, Donald Rickie Gaston, who tried to take his child from the child’s mother. They were first charged in March.
Burkett faces six felonies and six misdemeanors, including participating knowingly in criminal street gang activities, tampering with a victim in a felony prosecution and first-degree stalking.
Burkett’s attorney Gabe Crocker has said the case is politically motivated.
On Thursday, Crocker said he wanted to present Burkett’s side of the story before the attorney general reaches a decision on the case.
“I hope to be a part of any discussion … prior to any decision being made in this matter,” Crocker told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in an interview.
He said he hasn’t heard from the attorney general’s office on the case.
“I want to share information I have,” Crocker said.
He said as part of Burkett’s bail conditions, the sheriff has effectively been removed from office already. Burkett isn’t allowed to serve as sheriff while his case is pending.
“I’m appealing those bond conditions,” Crocker said. “I don’t believe the judge has the authority to remove somebody from office as a condition of someone’s bond.”