The gag order over the William Tisaby case expired on Monday, July 8 — at the end of the grand jury’s term.
And on July 10, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner’s attorney came out with a heated statement.
“In my almost 20 years as a civil rights attorney, there are few matters I’ve worked on as troubling as the sham investigation into St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner,” attorney Roy Austin, who is based in Washington, D.C., said in a statement.
“From start to finish, this process has been a thinly veiled attempt by St. Louis’s old boys network to manipulate the law in order to exact political revenge for Circuit Attorney Gardner’s efforts to reform the criminal justice system, conduct full and fair investigations of police misconduct, and hold former Governor Eric Greitens accountable for his personal actions.”
On June 14, Tisaby — the circuit attorney’s private investigator during Greitens’ felonious invasion of privacy trial — was indicted on six counts of felonious perjury charges and one count of tampering with evidence.
While the indictment was for Tisaby, Gardner’s actions were highlighted just as much in the 30-page document. The indictment states that Gardner was present during Tisaby’s deposition and knew what he said was wrong but didn’t correct the record.
The Tisaby deposition ultimately led to Gardner dropping the case. Greitens later resigned as governor.
Gardner has not been able to comment on the charges because of the gag order. Austin said that the indictment of Tisaby is so overblown that it’s a clear attempt to scare Tisaby into implicating Gardner in some way.
“It’s an attempt to get Mr. Tisaby to cooperate by presenting with something where he is going to face a lengthy jail sentence on a nonsensical case,” Austin told The American in an interview. “He is innocent, and is not going to play the special prosecutor’s game.”
And this game has been going on for a while now, Austin said. Around December, Special Prosecutor Gerard Carmody’s son, Patrick Carmody, allegedly called Tisaby’s attorney Jermaine Wooten to try and make a deal, according to an April 24 affidavit signed by Wooten.
Wooten stated that Patrick called him and asked if Tisaby had information on “others” and, if so, it would be to his client’s benefit.
“It was clear to me given the context of Mr. Carmody’s question that he was asking whether Mr. Tisaby had any information on Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner,” Wooten stated.
The affidavit was referenced in an April 25 motion to disqualify Gerard Carmody as special prosecutor. At the time of the phone call to Wooten, the special prosecutor had not even issued its first search warrant to Gardner to get Tisaby’s correspondence, which happened on January 24 and the correspondence was provided on February 4, the motion states.
Patrick denies that he tried to make a deal, according to Austin.
The American contacted the special prosecutor to see if he planned on continuing an investigation into Gardner. Gerard Carmody is out of town and not reachable, according to the office secretary. And no one else was available either, she said.
The Tisaby indictment raises questions about Gardner not providing her notes from her initial interview with K.S., Greitens’ hairdresser who alleged that Greitens took a semi-nude picture of without her consent and then transferred it in a way that it could be accessed by a computer.
Austin said that they have specific answers to all these implications, but they need to wait until the appropriate time, as they don’t know what the special prosecutor’s next steps are. However, he did say that there’s a difference between what someone writes down “contemporaneously” and what someone does well after an in-person interview as they are putting together their legal opinions. Later thoughts and opinions are classic work product that no one turns over, he said.
“The bottom line is the special prosecutor has no clue what privilege is and what privilege means,” Austin told The American. “And there are certain things that are so clearly work product that they are not turned over in any investigation.”
Austin also said he was “stunned” at the role Circuit Judge Michael Mullen played as the judge overseeing the investigation. Many of their motions were denied without explanation, he said. Among those motions was disqualifying Gerard Carmody as special prosecutor because of his close ties to members of Greitens’ law team and his conflicts of interest.
“In no time in my career have I witnessed a court that is unwilling to address very important legal issues with a written or oral legal analysis,” Austin told The American.
“I want to know the basis of the denial of our motion with respect to privilege. What is the law that supports handing over privileged material to anyone? I want to know the law that supports the search warrant that allows the police department to have access to files of investigations of police misconduct that have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not Tisaby did anything.”
Rumors have been swirling that the investigation into Gardner’s actions will continue. Austin said they have no idea if that’s the case.
“We are learning what we are learning from the media,” Austin told The American. “It would be the right thing to do for Jerry Carmody to send us an email and tell us what the status of the investigation is. But expecting him to do the right thing is something we’ve learned not to expect in this case.”