UPDATE – SAO Email, as reflected in the comments section, received February 6th at 7:19 PM:
The filing of the charges was clearly an error and we apologize.
6:21 PM February 6th original post: “SAO CHARGES DESIR” –
Anyone hoping for reforms in the SAO’s Felony Case Filing Unit (FCFU) have been disappointed since January 5th. Lawyers are seeing the same steady stream of aggressively overcharged “reaches” coming through, just as they had throughout the Satz dynasty. In fact, with Staci Direnzo taking over as Unit head, two names, Direnzo’s and Satz’s long-time, close friend John Countryman’s, seem to be appearing on almost all the Informations, signifying that individual case filing ASA’s can no longer independently decide on the appropriate level of charges or dismissal, as they had before. Criminal justice reform in many peoples’ minds begins and ends with felony case filing, but things seem to have only gotten worse.
Now, despite news breaking on January 18th of the tragic in-custody hospitalization and eventual death of Kevin Desir, the deep disconnect between Harold Pryor’s case filing units, and the reforms we believe he is genuinely trying to implement, has once again raised its ugly head.
On February 2nd, Direnzo and Countryman signed separate felony charges for Desir, roughly sixteen days after the SAO would have known Desir was hospitalized, and six days after he died.
How this could happen is anyone’s guess, but is sadly characteristic of the sloppy and reckless manner many believe FCFU has employed throughout the mass incarceration era.
Stay tuned to the continuing mainstream news coverage of the SAO and BSO pointing fingers over the investigation into Desir’s passing. Justice will have to be served. In the meantime, let’s hope the wildly insensitive and inappropriate case filing insults highlight the need for fresh, visionary faces in FCFU, who can help Pryor turn things around, instead of interminably damning him to the past …