Cayuga County District Attorney John Budelmann has filed three counterclaims against the former assistant district attorney, who Budelmann says betrayed his office and the residents of Cayuga County.
Among the claims, includes the accusation that Jeffrey Domachowski, who was terminated last year for poor performance — worked against taxpayers by coordinating with defense attorney’s to get drug cases thrown out.
Budelmann says that Domachowski was hired as a drug prosecutor — but his underhandedness and disloyalty are seen in the emails, which were released on Thursday.
He also says that Domachowski failed to take direction from more experienced prosecutors. Budelmann says that the combined impacts of Domachowski’s claims — in addition to the allegations that the justice system in Cayuga County has been corrupted — has resulted in extreme difficulty when it comes to prosecuting new cases.
Budelmann says that after a co-worker and police officer reported Domachowski’s unethical behavior to a Grand Jury — he took off from work that day on June 15th, 2016. The District Attorney says that Domachowski knew he was going to be fired.
He then refused to answer the phone, and when Domachowski did finally answer the phone — Budelmann says that a verbal confrontation ensued. According to Budelmann, two other employees heard the phone conversation because it was on speaker phone.
The picture painted by Budelmann and Domachowski are polar opposites.
Both place blame on the other party, but Budelmann called it retaliation when Domachowski went to the Post Standard with intentionally false and baseless claims.
While Domachowski claims the termination took place because he reported Budelmann to various ethics committees for withholding evidence on drug cases.
Budelmann fired back on Thursday, saying again that it was not the case.
The DA added, “In my 24 years as a prosecutor, I have never been accused of withholding evidence from a boss, a co-worker, an employee, members of law enforcement, or a Judge. These allegations were false and unsupported by any facts or evidence.”
In fact, Budelmann says that nothing was reported or made official by Domachowski until November 2nd — long after he had allegedly reported the District Attorney.
Speaking to the prospect of withholding evidence, Budelmann added:
“I have never withheld evidence, on any case. I have had an open file policy on drug cases for over 20 years. That policy is well known and has been stated on the record, in open court, countless times. Simply put, that open file policy means defense counsel can come in and review all the evidence against their client, they can even take notes. The only constraint is that they cannot leave with the actual police reports, video and audio recordings unless and until the case goes to trial. This policy was implemented to protect the safety and identity of the confidential informants and the investigative techniques utilized to catch drug dealers.”
Budelmann even added that mere days before Domachowski was terminated — he was supporting him at his re-election golf tournament. A photo was provided, which is the one embedded in this story.
The District Attorney didn’t stop there though. He accuses Domachowski of unemployment fraud, and says that while working as a defense attorney in Syracuse — he was collecting unemployment benefits from Cayuga County.
That continued for several months in 2016.
This story continues to develop and FingerLakes1.com will have the latest throughout the coming days as more information is obtained.