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Appellate court says special prosecutor can search St. Louis Circuit Attorney's office for evidence

The new ruling allows a contested search warrant to move forward with a slight delay pending any further appeal by Kim Gardner's legal team
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner

ST. LOUIS — It's decision time for the chief law enforcement officer for the City of St. Louis.

She can either comply with a hotly contested search warrant of her downtown office, or appeal the matter to Missouri's high court.

As of this writing, it was not known which way Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner's legal team was going to go.

Late Tuesday, an appellate court ruled against Gardner's continuing efforts to stop the search that she has called overly burdensome and invasive.

No reason was given for the decision, but the three judge panel did delay any execution of a search warrant at Gardner's office until at least April 9.

Special prosecutor Gerard Carmody is seeking the circuit attorney's e-mail server in relation to a perjury investigation tied to Gardner's office.

The server, as it's been described to 5 On Your Side by Gardner's team, contains hundreds of thousands of highly sensitive files about past and current crimes, victims, defendants and investigations.

It's sensitive information, they argue, that they have a sworn duty to protect.

Gardner has previously said the server is central to her office's efforts to keep citizens safe. Without it, she said she and her team cannot do their jobs.

Carmody's team is interested in what might be on the server's as a grand jury considers possible perjury charges against William Don Tisaby.

Tisaby is a former FBI agent who Gardner previously hired as she investigated former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.

The grand jury was convened in January to look into whether or not former Tisaby lied under oath during a deposition that was videotaped.

All charges against Greitens have since been dropped. But his defense team brought the allegations of perjury involving Tisaby to St. Louis police, which launched an investigation. 

Gardner's office has said it already complied with one search warrant from Carmody seeking e-mails related to Tisaby over a six month period in 2018.

She has said the second search warrant was overly broad and would've netted confidential information and people and cases that are unrelated to Tisaby and the Greitens case.

Officers and a member of Carmody's team previously seized Gardner's server for about an hour before returning it. That was just as the appellate court issued a stay on the search warrant.

In court filings, Carmody's team has argued that executing the search warrant is well within their rights and suggested Gardner is trying to intentionally obstruct his investigation

Gardner's team maintains they are not trying to impede the special prosecutor's case, but are obligated the protect the information of everyone involved with their office.

Gardner stated she does not believe Tisaby committed perjury.

There is a gag order in the matter, so the parties involved are not allowed to comment.

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