William Tisaby, the former FBI agent hired by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner to help in the criminal investigation of then-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, never had a chance to review his deposition.
He never received a copy of it, and he never signed it, as required by state law. Therefore, Tisaby’s deposition is “inadmissible,” wrote his attorneys in a court motion filed on November 5, and his testimony is “permanently incomplete.”
“A criminal perjury trial cannot be the first opportunity a witness has for reviewing and confirming his deposition because it would defeat the purpose of the signature requirement,” according to the motion.
In June, a grand jury indicted Tisaby with seven felony counts, including multiple perjury charges. His alleged conduct during the investigation was a factor in prosecutors dropping the felony invasion of privacy charge against the governor.
Gardner hired Tisaby in January 2018, soon after Greitens admitted that he had an affair with his hairdresser, a woman identified by her initials K.S. The former governor would later be charged with invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a semi-nude picture of K.S. without her consent, and then transferring it in a way that it could be accessed by a computer.
Gardner said she needed to hire an outside investigator because the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department refused to look into the case. The department said it was never asked to investigate.
On March 19, 2018, Greitens’ defense team deposed Tisaby for approximately nine hours, and at that time Tisaby “reserved signature” — meaning he requested a copy of his deposition so he could review it before he signed it, according to the recent motion. On April 26, 2018 — 36 days later — Tisaby was scheduled for a second deposition, yet he had still not received a copy of his first one. So, Tisaby sought out a lawyer and attempted to obtain a continuance, or extension, to have a chance to review the deposition and clear the record if needed. Greitens’ attorneys knew Tisaby had not read the deposition, the motion states, “yet aggressively pursued a second deposition to catch Mr. Tisaby in several lies.”
The court denied Tisaby’s request for a continuance, and Tisaby’s attorney, Jermaine Wooten, advised him to plead the Fifth Amendment during the second deposition.
Tisaby didn’t receive a copy of his deposition until after he was indicted and the criminal case had already started.
“They didn’t give him time to look at it, and that was wrong,” said attorney Daniel Dailey, who is also representing Tisaby. “And the defense team used that as a way to get ex-governor Greitens off.”
In April 2018, attorneys accused Tisaby of lying about whether he had taken notes during an interview with Greitens’ alleged victim. The police department investigated this claim, which spurred the grand jury proceedings. In June 2018, Mullen appointed Gerard Carmody, of Carmody MacDonald law firm, to oversee the grand jury investigation into Tisaby’s perjury charge.
“The whole case is based on the deposition,” Dailey said. “That’s the entire base of the indictment.”
Dailey believes that the case will have to be thrown out because there is no evidence without the deposition. He hopes to get a hearing on the motion the week of November 18. And Dailey firmly believes that Tisaby did not lie, but was not given a chance to clarify his responses.
“This is going to cost him his business,” Wooten said. “This is someone who served honorably in the FBI and prior to that he served honorably in the United States Air Force. This man has served this country for more than 40 years in a civil capacity. And it’s unfortunate that he has to be almost a victim in this whole Gov. Greitens fiasco.”