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More Ulster County cases dismissed for speedy trial violations

Jul 04, 2022 12:45 am

Patricia Doxsey is reporting for the Daily Freeman a review of records provided by the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office to the Daily Freeman found that there were more cases dismissed as a result of speedy trial violations than the five cases previously reported by that office. Records obtained through a Freedom of Information request show that since Feb. 1, 2020, 27 felony charges against 10 people have been dismissed due to a failure of the DA's office to prosecute within the time frames required by law. That total includes five cases dismissed on June 15 by Ulster County Judge Bryan Rounds. DA David Clegg said in three instances charges that were dismissed were the result of circumstances beyond his office’s control. One case involved the possession and sale of narcotics and it pre-dated his tenure as DA. In a case involving an armed robbery, he said, the speedy trial clock ran out when a key witness repeatedly refused to testify during a grand jury proceeding. In the third case, Clegg said, one of several charges was dismissed because of what he called “complications” with plea negotiations, but he said other charges against that person remain. The two newly discovered cases were dismissed for speedy trial violations. Clegg said the newly identified cases as well as the first five reported happened because of the conduct of one assistant district attorney. Clegg did not identify the ADA citing confidentiality concerns, but he confirmed that the person is still working in the office. “It’s being addressed,” he said. “I have reinforced and re-emphasized and read the riot act to everyone in this office that this cannot happen again." He said attorneys are conducting a thorough audit of the cases in every unit to ensure no additional cases are dismissed due to failures in the office. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.