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ICYMI: DAILY NEWS: LEE ZELDIN’S “PROBLEMATIC PROSECUTION”


For Immediate Release: July 26, 2022

 

ICYMI: DAILY NEWS: LEE ZELDIN’S “PROBLEMATIC PROSECUTION”

 

NEW YORK, NY - Recent reporting in the New York Daily News editorial board exposes the glaring ethical concerns of Lee Zeldin’s campaign co-chair and Monroe County district attorney, Sandra Doorley, whose office charged Zeldin’s attacker, David Jakubonis, with an offense that was not bail eligible, causing Jakubonis to be released. 

Conveniently, Lee Zeldin capitalized on the lax charges, but the Daily News report now raises red flags regarding Zeldin and Doorley's political relationship, which is not permitted under the ethics guidelines of the District Attorneys Association of New York. What’s raising more questions is the unusual step of charging Jakubonis with a lesser crime when the Monroe County district attorney's office is known for pressing heavier charges than other counties.

Read the key excerpts from the Daily News Editorial Board Below:

Daily News Editorial: Zeldin’s problematic prosecution: The truth about the release of the gubernatorial candidate’s attacker

By: The Daily News Editorial Board 7/26/22

Most damning is that it was the Monroe County district attorney — Sandra Doorley, a co-chair of Zeldin’s campaign — who charged David Jakubonis with attempted assault in the second degree, which is not bail-eligible, when the evidence quite likely supported a charge of attempted assault in the first degree, which is bail-eligible. So the prime responsibility for Jakubonis going free pre-trial (at least until federal prosecutors locked him up while pursuing their own case) lies not with Hochul but with a Zeldin political ally. The DA’s office claims the sheriff handed it the charge, but Zeldin, who’s just gotten through pillorying Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg for not downgrading or dropping a murder charge the NYPD passed along to him — can’t have it both ways. [...]

Doorley, who has recused herself going forward, never should’ve involved herself in the case. More to the point, she never should’ve endorsed a candidate for governor. Under the ethics guidelines of the District Attorneys Association of New York, “District Attorneys and their assistants may not endorse political candidates.” [...]

That’s one of many recommendations intended “to avoid compromising the integrity of their office and the appearance of conflicts with their professional responsibilities.” Such activity is also a no-no under ethics guidelines of the state Bar Association. [...]

The rotten political decision calls into question her subsequent prosecutorial judgment. That’s not where the questions end. Pressing the case that New York has gone wobbly on violent criminals, New York Republicans are keen to suggest Jakubonis was and is a major public safety threat. The federal criminal complaint filed Saturday establishes that he did not know who Zeldin was or that he was running for governor; had consumed whisky; and, when shown a video of the incident, described what he saw as “disgusting” and said he “must have checked out.” If this picture — of an angry, confused, drunken man, not a cold-blooded would-be assassin — is what led the DA to file her particular charge, it undercuts Zeldin’s broadside against Hochul and the allegedly failed state of New York law. [...]

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