That’s One Hell Of An Accusation HubiePosted: June 11, 2014
Hartford attorney Hubert “Hubie” Santos is one of the most respected criminal defense attorneys in the State of Connecticut. Rightly so. When he makes a representation in open court about a fact that he believes to be true, people listen. Judges listen. And the media reports what he says.
The Hartford Courant reports today that in a hearing before Superior Court Judge Julia Dewey on Monday, Attorney Santos accused Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz of intentionally interfering in a criminal prosecution by using her power to have a prosecutor removed from the case. Santos said:
Commissioner Katz, it is my understanding, has intervened to remove one of the prosecutors in this case. The reason we’re here is she’s intent on convicting each of our respective clients and there is … [a] conflict.
That’s one hell of an accusation Hubie. A DCF spokesperson denied it, as did the prosecutor currently handling the case, Anthony Bochicchio:
I’ve had a number of meetings with the Department of Children and Families, with foster parents, with case workers, [and] at least three meetings with the commissioner directly. In all those meetings, [Katz] expressed her opinion and we expressed ours. They at no point dictated our actions.
So, what is the factual basis of your contrary understanding Attorney Santos? What specific, credible evidence did you have when you made that accusation in open court to Judge Dewey?
All lawyers have an obligation to zealously advocate for the interests of their clients. But they also have an ethical obligation to avoid making accusations, particularly accusations of criminal misconduct, that lack a good faith basis in fact.
Commissioner Katz is not above the law. If she abused her power or authority to have a particular prosecutor removed from a case in which her office was involved, she should be held accountable. An accusation by one of Connecticut’s most respected attorneys that she abused her power is very serious. To paraphrase an old commercial, “When Hubie Santos talks, people listen.”
So, Attorney Santos, at the risk of being repetitive, what is the factual basis of your accusation?