News & Insights

Sher Tremonte Wins Outright Dismissal of All Charges in NYC Council Election Case

Sher Tremonte LLP lawyers Justine Harris and Michael Gibaldi secured a total victory for their client, David Jones, in a prosecution arising out of the 2009 election of Debi Rose to the New York City Council, the first African American to be elected to citywide office from Staten Island. On March 13, 2017, Special Prosecutor Roger B. Adler moved to dismiss all counts against Mr. Jones – putting an end to a meritless prosecution that had lasted for years. The special prosecutor had named Mr. Jones, along with the campaign treasurer and campaign committee, in a 23-count indictment that charged Mr. Jones with grand larceny based upon a $5,000 payment that Mr. Jones had received for his work on the campaign.

Ms. Harris and Mr. Gibaldi challenged the scope of the special prosecutor’s authority, moved to dismiss the charges, sought to unseal the affidavit seeking his appointment, and successfully compelled the special prosecutor to produce discovery over his objection. After over two years of fighting the charges, and on the brink of trial, Ms. Harris and Mr. Gibaldi convinced the special prosecutor that the case against Mr. Jones was, as the New York Times described it, a “colossal ball of nothing.” Twenty of the twenty-three counts had previously been dismissed on statute of limitations grounds, and on March 13, upon the special prosecutor’s own motion, Judge William E. Garnett dismissed both counts against Mr. Jones, as well as the remaining count against the treasurer and the campaign committee.

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