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Appeals court admonishes district attorney candidate for misconduct

Appeals court admonishes district attorney candidate for misconduct

A candidate for district attorney in Ontario County, New York has been criticized by the state’s appellate court for prosecutorial misconduct.

The Fourth Department Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court admonished the office of Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley, saying that it has had to reverse several recent convictions “based upon prosecutorial misconduct.”

The appellate court said the cases of concern involved cases where sexual abuse against children is alleged. All the cases had the same prosecutor.

Former Assistant Prosecutor Kristina “Kitty” Karle confirmed that she is the prosecutor the court referenced. Now a private lawyer, she was the head of the domestic violence and child abuse bureau before being fired by Doorley.

Karle is now running to be the chief elected prosecutor in Ontario County, and did not seem particularly remorseful when asked about the appellate court’s action.

“I hear what they said. I don’t have to agree with it, but I hear what they said,” Karle said to the Democrat & Chronicle. “And if the higher court thinks I said something I shouldn’t, I will take it under consideration moving forward.”

In the case the appellate court reviewed, the sexual abuse conviction of Joe Flowers Jr, a local pastor accused of sexually abusing a preteen boy was upheld. But judges still criticized Karle and said several other recent cases had been overturned.

According to the Democrat & Chronicle, “Court records show that the District Attorney’s Office in fact conceded during the appeal that portions of Karle’s closing argument were improper.”

The court concluded that Karle wrongly attacked the character of the defense lawyer, misstated the evidence of a defense witness, improperly suggested that a juvenile witness opted not to testify out of guilt and suggested to jurors that she was an “unsworn expert.”