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Judge bars Circuit Attorney's Office from perjury case against Greitens investigator

Judge bars Circuit Attorney's Office from perjury case against Greitens investigator

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ST. LOUIS — A judge Friday disqualified the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office from participating in the pending perjury indictment of the man hired to investigate former Gov. Eric Greitens.

Circuit Judge Bryan Hettenbach's order prohibits Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner and all of her assistants or special prosecutors from being involved in the seven-count indictment against William Don Tisaby.

Lawyers for Gardner's office had sought to represent its former chief investigator in a deposition scheduled for next week, arguing that the office's only interest was protecting privileged communications and records from disclosure, not in the outcome of Tisaby's criminal case.

Tisaby, 67, was indicted in June on charges of perjury and evidence tampering for allegedly lying multiple times under oath during a deposition in the run-up to Greitens' invasion of privacy trial in 2018. Gardner dismissed the case against Greitens during jury selection.

The special prosecutor in the Tisaby case argued Friday that it's illegal for prosecutors to represent a witness in a criminal case against the state. 

Gardner is also scheduled to be deposed next week.

In a statement Friday, Gardner said her office is "incredibly disappointed" in the judge's ruling, which she said "leaves public servants without the basic protection of legal representation."

"It is particularly disturbing when the hard-working men and women of my office who are not accused of any crime are allowed to be collateral damage in the sustained political attacks against me. This is unreasonable and creates an excessive burden for the career employees who have stepped up to serve."

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