A Saint-Louis circuit judge heard from a lawyer on Thursday Gerard Carmodythe request to step down as special prosecutor in the case of a former FBI agent accused of perjury and tampering with evidence during the 2018 criminal investigation into former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.
Judge Bryan Hettenbach will decide whether to allow Carmody to withdraw from the prosecution of William Tisaby, who was hired to assist in the Greitens investigation by St. Louis Circuit District Attorney Kim Gardner.
“We have other urgent matters currently planned for the coming months and they all require special attention,” Carmody said in a statement.
Carmody said it had been nearly two years since a St. Louis grand jury indicted Tisaby on multiple perjury charges “and a trial date has yet to be postponed.”
Tisaby’s attorneys said they were also anxious to get a trial date, but say Carmody has not indicated whether or not he has provided all the evidence to the defense.
Tisaby filed a movement last August to sanction Carmody for failing to provide the grand jury process transcripts and legal opinion emails they sought in the case. The motion asked for the case to be dismissed as part of the penalty against Carmody.
Carmody told the judge on Thursday that he has now provided Tisaby’s lawyers with everything he has.
Daniel Dailey, one of Tisaby’s attorneys, opposed Carmody’s motion to withdraw because Tisaby has already spent three years awaiting his court appearance. It’s unfair to taxpayers who have already paid Carmody nearly $ 400,000 for his legal services, Dailey said, and finding a new special attorney would take time and cost even more.
“Have we even considered the victim here, which I guess is the state?” Dailey told the judge.
The court would have “difficult times” with any prosecutor “abandoning” a victim of a crime after three years, “just because you have urgent matters,” he said.
Dailey also argued that it was Tisaby who obtained a copy of a list of donors to a charity founded by Greitens and who was at the center of the other felony charge brought against him by Gardner in 2018.
Dailey said the list includes clients from the Carmody law firm.
“Mr. Tisaby will prove that is the reason he was charged,” Dailey said.
“I don’t know anything about what this person is suggesting,” replied a visibly angry Carmody.
Dailey later told media the perjury charge was aimed at discrediting Tisaby and caused a “distraction” from the donor list.
Judge Hettlenbach said the court would make a decision by July 2 on whether to appoint another special prosecutor or dismiss the case.
Not about Tisaby
As the case debated Thursday centers on Tisaby, Gardner argues that this is in fact an attempt to remove her – the city’s first African-American circuit lawyer – from her elected office.
In January 2020, Gardner filed a federal lawsuit under the Klu Klux Klan Act against Carmody, the city and the police union, alleging a civil rights conspiracy. The lawsuit, which was dismissed, states that the named entities never intended to convict her or Tisaby of a crime but to hinder her efforts “defend the equal rights of racial minorities in Saint-Louis.
Gardner hired Tisaby in January 2018, shortly after Greitens was charged with a privacy breach.
The charge arose out of a 2015 case and allegations that he threatened to publish a nude photograph of the woman, taken against her will while she was blindfolded and her hands tied, if she ever spoke publicly. of the case.
Gardner said she needed to hire an outside investigator because the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department refused to look into the case. The ministry said it was never asked to investigate.
On March 19, 2018, the Greitens defense team deposed Tisaby for approximately nine hours. . Thirty-six days later, Tisaby was due to give a second statement, but he still had not received a copy of his first, his defense said.
So Tisaby sought a lawyer and tried to get an extension, or an extension, to have the opportunity to review the statement and delete the record if necessary.
However, the court rejected Tisaby’s request and Wooten advised him to plead the Fifth Amendment during the Second Deposition.
Greitens ‘attorneys accused Tisaby of lying about taking notes during an interview with Greitens’ alleged victim. The police department investigated this claim, which triggered the grand jury process.
Carmody, a longtime friend of Greitens’ attorney Ed Dowd, has been appointed special prosecutor.
On June 14, 2019, Tisaby was charged with six counts of perjury and one count of tampering with evidence.
While the indictment concerned Tisaby, Gardner’s actions were equally highlighted in the 30-page document. The indictment says Gardner was present during Tisaby’s testimony and knew what he was saying was false but did not correct the record.
Tisaby’s testimony led Gardner to drop the invasion of privacy case against Greitens.
Greitens resigned in June 2018 as part of a plea deal with Gardner’s office on a separate felony charge involving the alleged theft of the donor list.
A coalition of clergy and activists backs Gardner
Ahead of Thursday’s hearing, a coalition of civil, faith-based and community rights organizations held a rally in support of Gardner on the steps of the Carnahan courthouse.
“Those who attack Kim Gardner make no secret of the fact that this is blatant racism and retaliation,” said Reverend Darryl Gray, a civil rights activist.
A ethics complaint against Gardner, which reflects much of the information in Tisaby’s indictment, was recently filed with the Office of the Administrator of State Courts.
A three-member panel will examine the complaint later this year. Gardner says she hasn’t violated any legal ethical standards.
The coalition demanded that the complaint against Gardner be dropped.
“In the black communities of St. Louis, the criminal justice system does not deliver justice to the citizens it has sworn to protect,” said Jay Ozier, president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (St. Louis Chapter). “Our organization stands with Ms. Gardner and supports her efforts to reform the criminal justice system. We applauded his position that “no one is above the law”, including governors and law enforcement officials. ”