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Special prosecutor appointed in William Tisaby investigation

Gerard Carmody has been named a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of perjury associated with the prosecution of the Eric Greitens criminal case.
Carmody MacDonald

A St. Louis judge on Friday named a local attorney to oversee the investigation into a former FBI agent who worked with prosecutors on the Eric Greitens case.

Judge Michael Mullen agreed with the city that Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner had a conflict of interest when it came to the agent, William Tisaby, and appointed a special prosecutor. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is investigating allegations that Tisaby lied under oath, and Gardner is a potential witness.

Mullen’s decision to appoint the special prosecutor, Gerard Carmody, does not mean Tisaby will face charges. Carmody said in a statement he was honored to have been picked for the role.

"I am fortunate enough to have several experienced prosecutors in our firm who will be able to assist in the investigation," Carmody said. "I look forward to serving the public in this capacity and bringing this matter to a proper conclusion."

A spokeswoman said Gardner would appeal Mullen's decision. In a motion filed Friday morning, Joseph Bednar, an attorney hired to represent Gardner’s office, said the request for a special prosecutor was premature.

Gardner hired Tisaby in January to investigate whether Greitens, the former governor, had taken a semi-nude photo of the woman with whom he had an affair in 2015, and then transmitted it so it could be viewed by a computer. Gardner claimed the police department had refused to investigate the governor, although the police department said they were never asked.

Greitens’ attorneys raised concerns about Tisaby almost immediately.  

“There is grave concern that the Circuit Attorney’s avoidance of using the SLMPD and instead using a private investigator from Michigan to carry out her investigation has and will affect the admissibility of evidence in this case,” they wrote in a motion filed in late February, shortly after Greitens was indicted for felony invasion of privacy.

In April, attorneys accused Tisaby of lying about whether he had taken notes during an interview with the woman at the center of the case. Judge Rex Burlison would eventually reject a defense-team request to throw the entire case out, but allowed them to conduct a second deposition of Tisaby, as well as of the woman and her ex-husband. Tisaby took the 5th and refused to testify in that deposition, which set off a series of events that led to the invasion-of-privacy case being dismissed.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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