The lawyer for a former aide in the Vermont’s U.S. Attorney’s office has asked that charges against her be dropped, saying his client never was read her Miranda Rights before being questioned.
Attorney Steven Barth said in a motion filed in a U.S. District Court Monday that his client, Danielle Hall, was told by federal agents in 2008 “that if she refused” to discuss her case “it would get ugly.”
In April 2008, Hall was fired as an aide in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Burlington. It was believed that she had revealed federal grand jury testimony to her then-boyfriend, who was suspected of dealing drugs. She was charged with obstruction of justice and making a false statement.
Hall confessed to accessing information on Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Perella’s directory from her computer, but insisted that she never gave information to Michael Ryan, her boyfriend at the time and the owner of a Burlington hair salon.
Ryan eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and money laundering in 2010. He has not been sentenced yet, but his co-defendant was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
The Office of the U.S. Attorney for Vermont has recused itself from prosecuting Hall’s case because of a potential conflict of interest, and because its staff members are likely to be called as prosecution witnesses if the case advances. Instead, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York is representing the government.
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