Brutal email shows DA trashing colleagues just days before she laid into cops pulling her over for speeding

‘I’ll take care of this because I’ll be prosecuting myself,’ Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley told a police officer who wrote her a speeding ticket

Graig Graziosi,Michelle Del Rey
Wednesday 01 May 2024 19:43 BST
Related video: Hochul requests investigation into upstate NY DA

A brutal email shows an underfire New York district attorney trashing her prosecutors just days before a viral video emerged of her berating a police officer for daring to pull her over.

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley made headlines for bodycam video showing her dismissing a Webster, New York police officer who had tried to stop her for speeding.

The embarrassing footage shows Ms Doorley calling the officer an "a**hole," insisting that she is "the" DA, and at one point even calling the Webster police chief to tell him to have his officer back down.

Just a few days before her encounter, Ms Doorley sent an email to her staff that illustrates the tension in the DA's office, the Democrat & Chronicle reports.

The email congratulates prosecutors who have managed their caseloads well, but then quickly turns her attention to everyone else in her office, who she calls a "disaster, plain and simple".

"This will not be tolerated," she wrote, in bold. "It is unacceptable to ignore your duties as prosecutor. I have gone to great lengths to advocate for higher salaries and raises. To see as many of you drop the ball on so many cases is discouraging and disheartening."

She then told her prosecutors that they would have to attend a mandatory meeting with her to discuss their caseloads.

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley apologises for berating a police officer who pulled her over
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley apologises for berating a police officer who pulled her over (screengrab/WGRZ-TV)

"Depending on the status of caseloads at that time, you should expect changes and movement," she wrote.

Ms Doorley's behaviour in the video has been criticised both by the public online and the residents of Monroe County, who reportedly protested outside of her office on Monday and called for her resignation, the Democrat & Chronicle reports.

The scrutiny doesn't end there; the Monroe County Office of Public Integrity has reportedly launched an ethics probe of Ms Doorley, according to the paper.

"The investigation begins immediately,” Janson McNair, the director of the OPI and chair of the county's Board of Ethics, said. "We will report the results of our thorough investigation and subsequent recommendations to the appropriate authorities and share them with the public via a press release."

Monroe County's ethics code prohibits public officials from using their positions to "secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions" for themselves. In the video, Ms Doorley can be heard repeating that she will be the one prosecuting her own traffic stop, so she does not care if the officer gives her a ticket.

The incident happened on 22 April. Ms Doorley was driving down Phillips Road in Webster, allegedly going 55mph in a 35mph zone.

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley got hostile with an officer last week, calling him an “a**hole” after she evaded him in a traffic stop
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley got hostile with an officer last week, calling him an “a**hole” after she evaded him in a traffic stop (Webster Police Department)

An officer attempted to pull her over for speeding, but she evaded him, drove another mile to her residence and called the Webster police chief instead, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. Several officers responded to the address.

One officer immediately confronted the district attorney upon arrival and the two had a tense exchange. “I didn’t want to pull over”, DA Doorley said.

“But you should know better right?” Officer Cameron Crisafulli responded, reminding her that evading an officer is an arrestable offence. “Now you made it a bigger deal than it needed to be”.

In the footage, Ms Doorley can be seen repeatedly ignoring the officer’s requests, swearing at him and calling the Webster police chief to get the officer to “leave me alone”. Much of the interaction happened in the garage of the woman’s home.

At one point the officer said, “What do you want us to do? Not do our job because it’s you?” Officers ultimately issued the district attorney a ticket. “I’ll take care of this because I’ll be prosecuting myself”, she responded.

Shortly after the incident, the DA issued the following statement: “I acknowledged that I was speeding and I accepted the ticket.

“By 1pm the following day, I pled guilty and sent the ticket to the Webster Town Court because I believe in accepting responsibility for my actions and had no intention of using my position to receive a benefit.”

New York state district attorney issues apology for refusing to pull over during traffic stop

After the initial video went viral, Ms Doorley issued a 30-second apology video and took the blame for what occurred.

“Last Monday, I failed you and the standards that I hold myself to and for that I am so sorry," she said in the video.

Ms Doorley explained that she'd been having a bad day and that in addition to working on grisly homicides she'd also learned her husband was having medical problems, which took a toll on her mental health.

“But we all have bad days and stress," she said. "And it was wrong for me to take it out on an officer who was simply doing his job.”

Over the weekend, the Rochester City Council asked Letitia James, New York State attorney general, to investigate the incident. Meanwhile, Kathy Hochul, the governor of New York, said DA Doorley has “undermined her ability to hold others accountable”. She referred the case to the state Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct.

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