ST. LOUIS — The man hired to help investigate former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens is "absolutely 100 percent" innocent.
That's according to St. Louis-based defense attorney Jermaine Wooten, who held a press conference Tuesday on the front steps of the Carnahan Courthouse downtown to discuss his client William Tisaby.
Tisaby, 66, of Trussville, Alabama, was not in attendance, but Wooten was joined by several African-American clergy members and community activists.
"Mr. Tisaby is very much looking forward to his day in court. This case will not be pleaded. We're going to trial with this case," Wooten told reporters.
On Monday, a 33-page grand jury indictment was unsealed that revealed seven felony charges against Tisaby, including six counts of perjury and one count of tampering with evidence.
Last year, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat, hired Tisaby, a U.S. Air Force veteran and ex-FBI agent, to help her office prosecute Greitens.
Greitens, a Republican, was being investigated at the time after he was accused of threatening to blackmail a mistress with a picture of her half-dressed if she went public with their affair.
The charges against Tisaby are tied to a March 2018 deposition that was leading up to the now failed-prosecution of Greitens.
Tisaby is accused of intentionally hiding a number of documents from the Greitens defense team and lying under oath during the deposition about things that "...could substantially affect, or do substantially affect, the course or outcome of the Greitens case."
Wooten, though, is pushing back on the allegations.
"There was some information that may have been misunderstood, but he maintains he never lied during the deposition," he said.
Wooten also called into question the motivation behind targeting Tisaby and Gardner for crimes he said have never been prosecuted before.
"These are charges we've never seen in this jurisdiction. This circuit has never seen these charges. Why are they being charged now?" he said.
Adolphus Pruitt, the president of the St. Louis City chapter of the NAACP, said the answer to that question is race.
He agreed with some in the community who've argued that Gardner is being targeted by the white legal establishment for being the city's first black woman elected as chief prosecutor.
"We have no faith in the police department, no faith in the justice system and no faith in the courts," Pruitt proclaimed.
Wooten echoed those same concerns.
"I believe the community in St. Louis has spoke. I think they believe this is racially motivated."
Pruitt also called into question the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Tisaby and Gardner.
He said the courts have moved much slower to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate threats against Gardner and her team allegedly made by members of Greitens' defense team.
"There's no way we can trust a justice system that allows a prosecutor to be threatened during a case and nobody's looking into it," Pruitt said.
According to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office, the Greitens' team made threats against Gardner's staff on two separate occasions in 2018.
The nature of the threats, according to Gardner's office, dealt with what might happen if she did not drop the Greitens prosecution.
According to Gardner, it took police four months to interview her about the threats after she first reported them.
To date, there's been no decision on her June 2019 request seeking a special prosecutor to investigate the threats.
"I ask only that a special prosecutor be named to objectively and independently investigate this matter," Gardner said in a prepared statement to 5 On Your Side.
Gardner is implicated in Tisaby's indictment.
She's alleged to have failed to correct his incorrect statements and discouraged staff from reporting the perjury allegations against him to police when they first surfaced.
Gardner has not been charged. Tisaby pleaded not guilty on Monday.
Wooten maintains his client is not cooperating with the ongoing investigation into Gardner's office and will not be offering any information to help the special prosecutor's team.
"We have one position. He's innocent. He's not only not guilty, but he's 100% innocent of these charges," he said.