Greitens investigator pleads guilty for evidence tampering

This was the key investigator in the case against former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens. 

Greitens investigator pleads guilty for evidence tampering

Eric Greitens, the investigator who played a key role in former Missouri Gov.'s resignation, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to misdemeanor evidence altering just days before jury selection began for his seven felony charges including perjury.

Prosecutors have dropped the felony charges against William Tisaby as a private investigator and replaced it with the one misdemeanor. Tisaby was sentenced to a year suspended probation.

Tisaby's trial was scheduled to take place as Greitens, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, and amid allegations that he had been abused by his ex-wife.

Tisaby, a 2019 indictment on six counts perjury and one charge of evidence tampering. These crimes were committed by prosecutors while investigating allegations Greitens took a compromise photo of a woman with the threat of using it for blackmail.

A hearing will be held April 11 to determine the fate of Tisaby, the St. Louis prosecutor. Missouri's chief counsel in disciplinary matters has accused Kim Gardner , the Circuit Attorney of hiding evidence that could have been helpful to Greitens.

She could be subject to a variety of penalties if the charge is upheld, including the possibility of losing her law license. Gardner, unlike Tisaby has not been charged criminally and maintains that she did nothing wrong.

It all happens as Greitens, in a political comeback attempt,faces accusations from his ex-wife. She alleges that he was physically abusive, and claimed that he took the compromising photograph. Sheena Greitens, in a sworn statement filed Monday in Missouri as part of the Greitens child custody case, describes her ex-husband's threats to use his political connections to get custody of her children.

Eric Greitens called these allegations "completely fabricated and baseless."

He is one of several candidates for the Republican nomination to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt in the seat. Early polling before the August primary shows Greitens as the frontrunner, followed by Attorney General Eric Schmitt and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler. Hartzler, Schmitt and other GOP candidates called for Greitens' withdrawal from the race following the court filing.

In January 2018, Greitens, who was only one year into his first term in office as governor, admitted to an extramarital affair with his St. Louis hairdresser. An audio record that was made in secret by the husband of the woman turned it into a criminal investigation. She claimed Greitens tied her hands to exercise rings and blindfolded, then took a photo of her before threatening to reveal it to her husband.

Sheena Greitens stated that her husband admitted to her in the affidavit that he had taken the compromising photograph of the hairstylist. She says that her ex-husband warned her that he would be suing her if she disclosed the fact. Later, she learned that this was not true.

Greitens cited the accusations against Tisaby as well as moves to discipline Gardner, as evidence that Gardner was the victim in unfair prosecution and politics. Gardner, a Democrat was accused of a political vendetta from the beginning.

Greitens stated Wednesday that Gardner pursued him as part of a witch hunt.

"The truth prevails. Greitens stated that those who falsely accused me of being a criminal have been proved wrong again.

Gardner employed Tisaby, an ex-FBI agent, to investigate rather than relying solely on police. This was an unusual move. The investigation resulted in a felonious charge for invasion of privacy. Greitens denied any criminal wrongdoing and said that the affair was consensual.

Gardner had just dropped the charge in May 2018. A judge had ruled that she would have to answer questions from Greitens attorneys who had criticized her handling of this case. It put her in an "impossible” position to be a witness in a case that she was prosecuting.

Gardner also filed another, unrelated charge against Greitens for tampering computer data. He allegedly disclosed to his political fundraiser a list containing top donors to The Mission Continues, a veterans charity that he had founded without permission. Greitens resigned and the charge was dropped. In June 2018, he resigned.

Tisaby, a Tisaby resident in Trussville in Alabama, was indicted for lying during a pre-trial deposition and hiding notes during an interview with Greitens. According to the indictment, Tisaby was accused of lying under oath about matters that could or did substantially influence the outcome or course of the Greitens trial.

According to the indictment, Tisaby claimed that he didn't take notes during his interview with the hairdresser. However, a recording of the interview which he initially denied was possible due to an equipment problem showed him taking them. Indictment stated that Tisaby claimed that he did not receive notes from the prosecutor's before interviewing the woman. However, a document discovered during grand jury proceedings shows that Gardner had given Tisaby her notes.

Gardner was also indicted for allegedly failing to correct false statements. The indictment stated that Gardner's decision to rely on an outside investigator instead of police was "contrary" to the normal protocol.

Jermaine Wooten is Tisaby’s attorney and has described Tisaby as "an honest, decent man" who is "very upset that he's being used to be a scapegoat."


 

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