State Bar Recommends Suspension for O.C. Prosecutor Who Withheld Evidence
A suspension may be in order for Deputy Dist. Atty. Sandra Lee Nassar, an Orange County prosecutor accused of withholding evidence from the defense in a child abuse case.
The recommendation to suspend Nassar for a period of at least one year comes from California State Bar Judge Yvette D. Roland, who called Nassar’s actions an example of “extremely serious misconduct.”
Nassar is accused of withholding intercepted mail sent to and from two defendants that should have been handed over to defense attorneys. When Nassar was reprimanded by a judge, she “chalked it up to ‘trial strategy,’” reports the O.C. Register. Later, Nassar told the Bar she withheld the mail because she did not find it exculpatory.
Even more disturbing than the initial misconduct was Nassar’s lack of remorse, wrote Judge Roland.
“This court found deeply disturbing [Nassar’s] testimony that she would engage in the same conduct again,” the judge said, adding that the “lack of insight on this subject represents a tremendous threat of future harm to the public and the administration of justice.”
Under the Bar’s recommendation, Nassar would be placed on probation for three years. The first year of that would include suspension.
Nassar hasn’t responded to the State Bar’s recommendations and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office says it is still reviewing the matter. The recommendation will head to the California Supreme Court for approval.