Gardener has been riddled with scandals. In 2019, she admitted to misusing campaign donations received in 2015 & 2016 to pay for personal housing costs. She was given a $63k fine but was only required to pay 10% of it.
She claimed a St. Louis cop unlawfully pulled her over and detained her on Christmas eve for 15 minutes as part of a campaign of “intimidation tactics used by the police to stop reform.” Gardener was captured on camera driving at night with no headlights. She was rightfully pulled over for six minutes. It was not on Christmas Eve.
On May 4th, 2021, Missouri’s State Disciplinary Counsel found probable cause that Gardner committed professional misconduct. During a subsequent disciplinary hearing on April 11th, 2022, Gardener admitted to wrongdoing.
Now she is being sued for racial discrimination and retaliation by a former employee.
Rebecca Goetz, who is White, says she complained to Gardener about racially abusive language by a Black employee. Goetz says Gardener responded by firing her.