Defense lawyers call on Monroe County DA Sandra Doorley to resign

Defense attorneys call for DA Sandra Doorley to step down

Defense attorneys call for DA Sandra Doorley to step down

It’s been two weeks since News10NBC first brought you the body-worn camera video of Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley’s traffic stop in Webster. Now, the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is calling on Doorley to resign. 

The Monroe County Office of Public Integrity and Ethics Committee, the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct, and the Attorney Grievance Committees within the Fourth Judicial Department are all investigating Doorley’s behavior during the traffic stop.  During an exclusive interview last week, Doorley told News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke that she welcomes any investigations and will accept whatever consequences are handed down but she has no intention of resigning. 

“It’s not about getting favor and avoiding a speeding ticket,” says Steven Epstein, the president of the NYS Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “The real problem here is that the District Attorney has a dual function; they both prosecute and they also have to make sure that innocent people aren’t convicted, that discovery is turned over, that evidence that might be helpful to the defense must be turned over — and there is nobody watching the watcher, meaning … we have to trust that they’re going to do these things, that’s an important word, trust.”

Epstein says the trust has been broken and an apology isn’t going to fix it.

“The problem is not her as a person, I understand that many of the people of Rochester like her, she’s been in office a while, that’s not the issue. It’s in her role as District Attorney — can we trust her to do all the other things that she’s supposed to be doing as District Attorney, and my answer is no because of this conduct,” he says. 

Epstein and the association that he leads believe Doorley should step down.

“My concern is, what’s being investigated? She’s made admissions to all of the conduct that were complaining about, and most of it is caught on the body camera,” he says. “Imagine you were operating that car that day and you got pulled over and you decided to drive to your house, what do you think would happen?  It wouldn’t have worked out the way it did here. Would there be other charges filed against you — resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration — would it be handled in the same manner?  I doubt it, I don’t think so and that’s problematic when you’re now going to be a person accused of committing a crime by her office and whether she’s in the courtroom, it’s the district attorney that sets the tone, that sets the guidelines, that sets the policy for the office.”

On Friday, Doorley reiterated that she will not step down but will accept any consequences that come from the investigation.  In the meantime, she says she continues to run her office and lead her team of prosecutors.