Friday, May 21, 2010

Hit And Run, DWI Former Deputy Prosecutor Gets Her Job Back

It must be hard to find people to work in Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi's Office these days. Gillian DePrez, a former deputy prosecutor in his office, last year was arrested and charged after she struck another vehicle and left the scene of the accident. IMPD discovered she was also driving while under the influence. Her blood alcohol content was .15 above the .08 level at which drivers are considered drunk in Indiana. Brizzi passed the case off to a special prosecutor, Barry Brown, who allowed her to plead guilty to reckless driving and receive 24 hours of community service and 90 days of nonreporting probation. If you talk to other people charged in this county as she was charged, you will find that the prosecutor's office always tells them that it doesn't plead down DWI charges, let alone DWIs accompanied under circumstances where the driver left the scene of the accident, although strangely she wasn't even charged for that crime. Now we learn that she not only got special treatment by the special prosecutor, but she is also getting her job back in the prosecutor's office that she resigned last July after her initial arrest. And then they wonder why people have no confidence in our criminal justice system.

9 comments:

Cato said...

Is she the daughter of Ann DePrez, Partner at Barnes and Thornburg?

dcrutch said...

I read a ponderous biography of Huey Long when I was young, and a lesser one about Richard Daley Sr. I have not read extensively about Tammany Hall in New York. I only know about the Kansas City Pendergast machine through a PBS documentary on Truman, who was (at least initially) supported by it.

From my collective recollections on these Democratic machines, I can't think why the actions and inactions of Carl Brizzi shouldn't put him in this company.

Maybe I'm entirely wrong. Would someone like to defend him and explain why he should still be in office as our prosecutor?

Indy Student said...

dcrutch, Brizzi has lost support from most in his own party. The only ones who aren't calling for his resignation, ironically, are the Democrats.

Strangely enough, he seems to have some support among the public. After Brizzi had the WIBC interview 3 weeks ago or so, the DJ who followed the interview just let callers call in and talk about the interview. I don't know if Brizzi sent out a talking point quickly, but at least half of the callers were defending Brizzi. Often using the term "witch hunt", though they couldn't define who was hunting Brizzi.

Brizzi is probably a believer in the free market. Well, I ask Brizzi, and those who support him, this: Would a private employer put up with the non-answers and BS that Brizzi has given the public?

Advance Indiana said...

No, Cato.

Paul K. Ogden said...

They say she is punished no more than any first time offender. Possibly. But what gets me is they allowed her to forego pleading to a DWI. Since when is that an offer made in DWI cases?

Bob said...

Paul,

Maybe that is how 1st time DUI's are handled in Monroe County where the special prosecutor hails from.

That is not how Marion County or the surrounding counties prosecute DUI's. There better some incredibly insurrmountable problem with the evidence before the deputy prosecutor comes off the DUI.

Indy4U2C said...

That plea bargain is inappropriate under the circumstances. Further, DWI has enhanced penalties for repeat offenses, while Reckless Driving does not.

A second DWI within 5 years is a felony. The idea is to address those who fail to correct their problem.

Reckless Driving has specific actions required as elements, it is not a general lesser-included of DWI. Perhaps the Supreme Court's Disciplinary Commission should look into what happened?

Marycatherine Barton said...

Maybe the drunk driver is doing community service, was court ordered to work for Carl Brizzi. lol. Seriously, Marion County's prosecutor office must now be the laugh of the nation.

staghounds said...

Declaring my interest, I'm a prosecutor.

I am ashamed of and angry about what the Special did.

IFF there was a serious problem with the proof, the Special had an independent duty to dismiss the charges or accept a plea to what hecould do. A prosecutor's job is NOT to try cases he doesn't think he can prove. He's supposed to NOT press those, remember?

Having said that, the reasons for the plea down ought to be open and explained on the record. And on the courthouse steps to the news cameras.

"We can't prove DWI, the machine was defective. Here's the engineering report".

Or, "The law requires a written waiver in order to use the test. The police didn't get one before they gave the test, so it's not admissible."

Otherwise, plea as charged or have a Jury decide.

Because the citizens have a right to VERY TRANSPARENT justice when it's a public official Especially especially if it's law enforcement.

I'm very embarassed by Brizzi. This makes him (and since I do the job too) look corrupt.

As I understand it, she was a hard worker, sharp, and otherwise a credit to the office. Anyone can have a bad day, and that might be a part of a bigger problem that's now been dealt with.

I could BARELY comprehend rehiring her if she took her lumps. But this isn't what happened. How could he be so far from reality to think that this was anything but cruel poison to his former ADA?

Combined with the (apparent) sweetheart deal, people in Indianapolis ought to toss him at the next election.

I still feel sorriest for the victim, and second sorriest for Miss DePrez.