Two separate Associated Press reports on the criminal investigation into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens use the word “egregious,” each in a slightly different context. No matter how exactly Chief Trial Assistant Robert Dierker used the word, however, his admission is a stunning one.
According to the AP report in the New York Times, Dierker said of the hiring of private investigator William Tisaby, “We are saddled with the egregious mistake of relying on him.”
According to the AP wire report as it appeared on the Fox4KC web site, Dierker argued that “the ‘egregious mistakes’ of the man hired to investigate Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens should not prompt dismissal of the indictment against the governor.”
In either case, Dierker argued that no matter how egregious Tisaby’s mistakes were, they were not “worthy of the ultimate sanction of dismissal.” Circuit Judge Rex Burlison may very well feel otherwise. On Monday, he said he would rule Thursday on the defense request to dismiss the case.
The AP piece that appears in the Times is something of a whitewash. The reporter uses the word “bungling” to describe Tisaby and repeats Dierker’s comparison of Tisaby to the clownish Inspector Clouseau from “The Pink Panther” movies. The prosecution’s problems go much deeper than that.
What is missing from the report in the Times is the word “perjury” or, even more incredibly, any reference to St. Louis Circuit Court Attorney, Kim Gardner, the woman who hired Tisaby.
As the Sentinel reported Friday, defense counsel James Martin accused Tisaby in open court of “multiple, multiple lies.” Martin could not have been more blunt. Said he, “what we have here is criminal perjury under oath.”
Said Martin of Gardner, she “sat there and let him lie every time.” Defense counsel Scott Rosenblum had never made an allegation against a prosecutor in his 35 years of practice until Thursday when he called out Gardner. “Not only was her behavior grossly, grossly incompetent, under any stretch,” said Rosenblum, “but she suborned perjury in my presence.”
Tisaby’s deceptions came to light only after the Circuit Attorney’s office finally released the notes and video that defense rightly claimed prosecutors were withholding. The production of this material, some of which is exculpatory, came hours after a House committee released its report on Greitens.
As to why the House committee insisted on releasing a report before Greitens was able to respond and after Judge Burlison discouraged the committee from releasing it remains something of a mystery.