ST. LOUIS (AP) – A former FBI agent accused of botching the criminal investigation of then-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens turned himself in Monday after being indicted on charges alleging that he lied in a deposition about his interview with a woman who had an affair with Greitens.
The former agent, William Tisaby, surrendered to authorities on the same day that an indictment charging him with six counts of perjury and one count of tampering with physical evidence against him was unsealed.
Tisaby, who lives in Trussville, Ala., was hired last year by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner to investigate allegations that Greitens had taken a compromising photo of his hairdresser and threatened to share it if she exposed their affair in 2015, a year before Greitens, a Republican, was elected governor. Greitens resigned last June as part of a deal in which charges were dropped.
Gardner’s handling of the Greitens case drew strong criticism from his attorneys, who asked police to investigate whether Tisaby had lied under oath as part of a deposition of the hairdresser.
Gardner ultimately decided to dismiss the case after the judge granted a request by Greitens’ attorneys to call her to testify about Tisaby. Gardner said at the time that it put her in the “impossible” position of being a witness in a case she was prosecuting.
The indictment, which was filed under seal Friday in St. Louis Circuit Court, alleges that Tisaby lied under oath “about matters which could substantially affect, or did substantially affect, the course or outcome of the Greitens case.”
The indictment alleged that Tisaby denied taking notes during his interview of the hairdresser, although a recording of the interview that he initially said was unwatchable because of an equipment malfunction showed him doing so. The indictment also said that Tisaby said he didn’t receive notes from the prosecutor’s office before he interviewed the woman, although a document uncovered during the grand jury proceedings shows that Gardner had provided Tisaby with her notes.
The indictment also was critical of Gardner, saying she failed to correct false statements. It also noted that relying on an outside investigator rather than police was “contrary to normal protocol.”
Scott Rosenblum, one of Greitens’ former attorneys, described the prosecution as “misguided” and said the allegations described in the indictment were “even more egregious than we thought.”
Tisaby, who pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday, was released on his own recognizance under the conditions that he surrenders his passport and informs a probation officer of any travel plans. His attorney, Jermaine Wooten, didn’t immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press seeking comment. Wooten had said previously that Tisaby was “very upset he’s being used as a scapegoat” and described Tisaby as “an honest and decent man.”
A spokesman for Gerard Carmody, the special prosecutor assigned to oversee the investigation, and a spokeswoman for Gardner said they were unable to comment because of a gag order in the case.