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Former FBI agent who investigated Greitens indicted for perjury, evidence tampering

Gov. Eric Greitens’ attorneys discuss allegations of misconduct by investigator, prosecutor

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ legal team speaks to the media following St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s decision to drop the felony invasion of privacy case against Greitens.
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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ legal team speaks to the media following St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s decision to drop the felony invasion of privacy case against Greitens.

The former FBI agent chosen by the St. Louis City prosecutor to investigate former Gov. Eric Greitens has been indicted on six counts of perjury and one count of tampering with physical evidence, according to documents unsealed Monday in St. Louis City Circuit Court.

William Don Tisaby, 66, a private investigator, was hired by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner to assist in a probe following allegations that Greitens took a partially nude photograph of a woman without her consent while they were having an affair in 2015. The woman was allegedly bound and blindfolded when the photo was taken, and she says he threatened to release it if she ever spoke about the affair.

Gardner charged Greitens with invasion of privacy.

But the charge was dropped when Greitens’ defense team accused Tisaby of perjury and said it planned to call Gardner at trial as a witness.

In June 2018, a St. Louis Circuit Court judge appointed Gerard “Jerry” Carmody as a special prosecutor to assist in the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s investigation and handle any resulting charges.

In the court documents made public Monday, Carmody accuses Tisaby, 66, of lying multiple times during a deposition and concealing notes from Greitens’ legal team.

Under oath, Tisaby maintained that he had not taken notes during an interview of the alleged victim, nor asked her substantive questions. A video of the interview, which Gardner claimed did not exist due to malfunctioning equipment, showed otherwise when it was handed over by Gardner’s office the day before Greitens’ lawyers sought to compel Gardner to produce the video in court.

During his deposition, Tisaby said he would return to his hotel room over a two-hour lunch break to check his laptop for notes and reports. Upon returning, he first said he checked his laptop, then he said he didn’t have his laptop.

He also stated he did not talk to Gardner during the break. However, over the course of at least seven phone calls, including conference calls with others, the two were on the phone for at least 34 minutes of the two-hour lunch break, according to the indictment.

Carmody’s office declined to comment, noting a court-mandated gag order. Tisaby’s attorney Jermaine Wooten did not immediately return a request for comment left with his office.

Dowd Bennett, the St. Louis law firm that handled Greitens’ legal defense, declined to comment.

Scott Rosenblum, one of Greitens’ former lawyers, described the prosecution as “misguided” and said that the allegations laid out in the grand jury indictment are “even more egregious than we thought.”

Will Scharf, Greitens’ policy director, tweeted that Tisaby was central to the indictment of Greitens, and that the indictment pushed the Missouri House to investigate. Facing impeachment after the legislative investigative committee released its report, Greitens ultimately resigned. His exit was part of an agreement with Gardner to drop a separate felony computer tampering charge, linked to use of a donor list from a Greitens-founded charity for political fundraising.

“Greitens would still be in office,” Scharf tweeted. “Damaged, perhaps, but still Governor.”

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens on May 29 announced his resignation just as abruptly as he had arrived on Missouri's political scene, his career buried under an avalanche of scandal and felony charges.

In appointing Carmody, a judge said that Gardner had a conflict of interest in the perjury case. Through court filings, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office has maintained that the investigation into Tisaby to be a “fishing expedition.”

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office said it declined to comment due to the gag order.

Tisaby, who lives in Trussville, Ala., surrendered to St. Louis authorities the same day the indictment was unveiled. His $70,000 cash-only bond was reduced to a personal recognizance bond.

He was released on the condition that he has a bi-weekly call with a probation officer, notify the officer of travel plans and surrender his passport, according to court records.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Crystal Thomas covers Missouri politics for The Kansas City Star. An Illinois native and a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, she has experience covering state and local government.
Bryan Lowry covers Kansas and Missouri politics as Washington correspondent for The Kansas City Star. He previously served as Kansas statehouse correspondent for The Wichita Eagle and as The Star’s lead political reporter. Lowry contributed to The Star’s investigation into government secrecy that was a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize.
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