The Arizona Republic reports, "State Bar of Arizona files complaint vs. Pinal chief deputy county attorney," by Michael Kiefer.
The State Bar of Arizona, which licenses and regulates attorneys, filed a formal complaint on Tuesday against Chief Deputy Pinal County Attorney Richard Wintory for his conduct during a capital murder case he prosecuted while at the Arizona Attorney General’s and Pima County Attorney’s offices.
Wintory is accused of making false statements of fact, being dishonest and engaging in conduct prejudicial to justice for inappropriately contacting a member of the defense team of a man he was prosecuting and then covering up the extent of his communication with that person to the court and his bosses.
According to a spokesman at the state Bar, Wintory’s case will now go to a disciplinary hearing unless it is settled by consent among the various parties.
“I’m confident that if we get before a hearing panel and lay the facts out, they will see I had no intention to mislead anyone on this matter,” Wintory told The Arizona Republic.
The allegations stem from the Pima County murder case of drug dealer Darren Goldin, who was charged with first-degree murder for hiring someone to kill an associate named Kevin Estep in 2000. Goldin had already pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a similar crime carried out in 2005 in Maricopa County.
"Ariz. prosecutor accused of misconduct in capital murder case," is by Mark Hansen at the ABA Journal.
The bar complaint alleges that Wintory had several conversations with a former defense consultant that he kept secret from his superiors. When his superiors became aware of the communications, it says, Wintory was taken off the case.
"While it is plausible that respondent did not know that his initial conversation with the (consultant) was inappropriate, he continued to engage in such communications, even after the court raised concerns," the complaint says.
Wintory told the newspaper he had no reason to want to conceal his contact with the consultant. "I'm at a loss at how this kind of honest misunderstanding rises to the level where we are accusing each other of lying," he said.
Related posts are in the prosecutorial misconduct category index.