St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison did not make a ruling Tuesday on whether or not he will appoint a special prosecutor in the felony computer tampering case against Governor Eric Greitens.
Burlison did, however, ask both sides to give suggestions on who should prosecute the case.
The defense team representing Greitens filed a motion Monday afternoon seeking to disqualify St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and her office in the felony computer tampering case based on her actions in the ongoing felony invasion of privacy case.
“The actions of the first case have permeated and corroded the second case,” Greitens’ attorney Jack Garvey said. “The Circuit Attorney wants redemption and resurrection from this second case.”
The motion alleges serious misconduct by Gardner, her team and an investigator in the felony invasion of privacy case. William Don Tisaby, a former FBI agent hired by the prosecution to investigate the case, is accused of giving false testimony under oath and criminal perjury, along with allegations of withholding evidence.
The motion also accuses the prosecutors of withholding evidence including a videotaped interview with the key witness and notes of that interview.
Tisaby was ordered by Burlison to appear in St. Louis and be deposed by the defense Thursday regarding the invasion of privacy case. When asked if he would be at the re-scheduled deposition Thursday, Gardner’s spokeswoman Susan Ryan said, “That’s our plan.”
The defense pointed out Monday that Tisaby remains on the prosecutor’s team, even though prosecutor’s vehemently denied that he is still the lead investigator.
When asked Monday who was leading the prosecution’s investigation’s, Gardner sat back and did not respond. First Assistant Circuit Attorney Robert Steele broke the silence and claimed Anthony Box is the prosecution’s lead investigator.
In court Tuesday, the prosecution fought back against allegations that Tisaby’s actions would taint the newest case. Gardner’s chief trial assistant Robert Dierker argued that Tisaby will have nothing to do with the felony computer tamping case and only conducted “minimal work” in identifying witnesses.
“Tisaby seems to be a gift that keeps on giving for the defense,” Dierker said. “But the truth of the matter here is there is no evidence he had involvement with the (computer tampering) case and there is no basis for disqualifying this office.”
Following the hearing, Ryan said most of the work on the computer tampering case was done by Box, the circuit attorney’s lead investigator.
The defense is also seeking to bar Attorney General Josh Hawley from stepping up based on his comments on the governor.
Following the release of the House investigative report, which graphically detailed Greitens’ extramarital affair, Hawley called on Greitens to resign, citing impeachable offenses in the report.
Also on Tuesday, Greitens’ lawyers asked Burlison for permission to depose Al Watkins, the attorney representing the ex-husband of the woman at the center of the case, after he confirmed receiving two anonymous donations of $50,000 during a press conference outside the courthouse Monday.
Burlison said he would not rule on the matter until Watkins, who was not in court Tuesday, was served with a subpoena by Greitens’ team.
Burlison did say he would allow Greitens’ defense to obtain any financial records regarding the payments.