People v. Lisa Shutter, 72 AD3d 1211 [3d Dept., 2010]

As a result of four false statements defendant made in a written complaint to police, one in which she claimed to have been inappropriately touched by a police officer during a traffic stop, defendant was charged in an indictment with four counts of making a punishable false written statement.  Following a jury trial, she was convicted as charged and thereafter sentenced to three consecutive jail terms of 60 days each (counts one, two and three), as well as a consecutive term of one year (count four).

On appeal, defendant contended that the trial court erred by denying defendant's motion to disqualify the prosecutor, who had interviewed defendant before trial as a putative victim after defendant lodged her complaint.  Although defendant contended that the interview created a confidential relationship between defendant and the prosecutor, the Third Department found that defendant did not demonstrate actual prejudice or so substantial a risk thereof as could not be ignored such that the disqualification of the prosecutor was necessary.   Moreover, the additional presence at the interview of defendant's retained counsel and a crime victim's caseworker detracted from defendant's claim that she developed a protected relationship with the prosecutor during that interview, especially considering that defendant maintained a story throughout the questioning that later proved to be fabricated.  The Third Department affirmed the defendant’s convictions.