Ex-FBI agent pleads guilty to tampering in bungled criminal case against Missouri governor

Plea deal reached just before jury selection was set to begin in case of William Tisaby.

Updated: March 23, 2022 - 3:19pm

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An ex-FBI agent who led the bungled investigation into former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens pleaded guilty Wednesday to witness tampering in a deal that spared him from a trial and placed additional spotlight on the prosecutor behind the case.

William Tisaby appeared in a St. Louis Circuit Court and entered the plea to one count of misdemeanor evidence tampering and was sentenced to probation, which was immediately suspended. It was not immediately clear whether Tisaby was required to cooperate in any further investigation.

Tisaby had been facing trial on six counts of perjury and one count of evidence tampering in an indictment that accused him of hiding evidence and lying during the investigation into Greitens, a Republican who was forced to resign as governor after St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner charged him as taking a compromising photo of a woman he had an affair with.

The charges were dramatically dropped when Gardner admitted she did not have evidence the photo was taken and the woman testified she may have dreamed up the allegation.

Gardner has not been charged with criminal wrongdoing but has been accused by Missouri's chief legal disciplinarian with violating dozens of attorney standards of conducts during the prosecution, including withholding exculpatory evidence. She faces a hearing on those allegations on April 11 and has denied wrongdoing.

A 2019 indictment accused Tisaby of lying during a deposition ahead of the Greitens’ trial and concealing notes taken during an interview with the former governor’s accuser. Prosecutors charged that Tisaby's lies were “about matters which could substantially affect, or did substantially affect, the course or outcome of the Greitens case.”

Greitens is trying to make a political comeback, running for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Missouri. Greitens' campaign was set back earlier this week when his ex-wifemade allegations of abuse, which he has denied.

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