Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Judge Refuses to Disqualify Allen County Prosecutor's Office in Todd Leary Case

The Associated Press is reporting that an Allen County Superior Court Judge has ruled that there is no reason to disqualify Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards from prosecuting former IU player Todd Leary for mortgage fraud even though Richards' chief deputy at the prosecutor's office was allegedly a victim of that fraud and one would suspect could well be a witness. Prosecutor Richards testified that her deputy had not been involved in the Leary investigation.

Okay, I haven't read the opinion on this one, but I cannot imagine the scenario by which the Allen County Prosecutor's Office should not be recusing itself on this case and turning the matter over to a special prosecutor. Prosecutor Richards' chief deputy and very likely close friend is an alleged victim of Leary. It is human nature that that close relationship will cloud otherwise objective decisions made about the prosecution. I would think that Prosecutor Richards has an ethical duty to step down from the prosecution.

Whatever happened to public officials like Richards avoiding an "appearance of impropriety?" I have no sympathy for what Leary, allegedly, did, but his attorney appears 100% right on this one.

1 comment:

Marycatherine Barton said...

I also cannot understand why she is insisting on her office doing the prosecuting.