Monday, September 3, 2012

New details in DA's admonishment in Signature Pharmacy case

Soares' characterization in pharmacy case earned criticism, papers show
Published 10:02 p.m., Wednesday, August 29, 2012

ALBANY — With two weeks to go before Primary Day, a sworn deposition from Albany County District Attorney David Soares offers new details about his secret admonishments by a judicial panel that criticized him for publicly characterizing defendants in a steroid case as drug dealers and for discussing the investigation of a local police chief.
In a 145-page transcript of sworn testimony from Soares, the two-term Democrat seeking re-election this year sparred with an attorney for owners of Signature Compounding Pharmacy, who though facing indictment are suing Soares for defamation.
Soares was twice admonished by a state judicial panel for inappropriate comments by the district attorney that were later published in the newspaper, according to a legal records filed in federal court in Florida on Tuesday. The deposition and other documents were shared with reporters covering Soares' primary campaign against Lee Kindlon. The two will square off in a Sept. 13 primary.
The promptly produced transcript from last week's testimony shows Soares was admonished for characterizing those involved with Signature Pharmacy as akin to Tony Montana, the fictional cocaine kingpin in the movie "Scarface." Soares made the comments in an interview about the illegal pharmaceutical industry and Signature's lawyers contend the comments harmed their reputations. The plaintiffs accused Soares of defamation and the deposition was taken as part of that legal case. The case is slated to go to trial in February. Five operators of the pharmacy face felony charges after allegedly being implicated in a steroids distribution network.
During questioning, Soares also revealed a separate admonishment was for comments he made about Guilderland Chief James R. Murley to a Times Union editorial board. In October 2008, Soares was quoted as saying Murley, who was accused of defrauding the government by going to a casino while on public time, was in discussions about a plea bargain. In October 2009, Murley pleaded guilty to misdemeanor, admitting that on more than 50 occasions he claimed to have been working when he was actually gambling at an Oneida County casino.
The admonishment letters have never been revealed to the public. Soares told the attorney who questioned him that he shredded the admonishments and could not provide them.
Soares' testimony took place on Aug. 24.

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