Family of slain Megan McDonald file complaints against Orange County DA, 5 other attorneys

The complaints were filed with the Attorney Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District. They cite Hoover for unethical and possibly criminal conduct in the investigation.

News 12 Staff

Mar 18, 2024, 10:13 PM

Updated 25 days ago

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The mother and sister of Megan McDonald have filed formal disciplinary complaints against Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler, four attorneys in his office and former DA Frank Phillips.
A second-degree murder indictment was handed down to Edward Holley in January for the 2003 death of McDonald. The announcement was made by the special prosecutor who took over for Hoovler when he had recused himself because of a conflict of interest.
The body of 20-year-old McDonald was found in a field in the Town of Wallkill. She had broken off a relationship with Holley just before she was killed.
The complaints were filed with the Attorney Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District. They cite Hoover for unethical and possibly criminal conduct in the investigation.
Hoovler said he and his staff acted in accordance with the highest ethical standards governing attorneys generally, and district attorneys specifically.
The complaint alleges the assistants and Phillips knew of Hoovler’s conflict, but took no action as required by the American Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct.
A legal expert News 12 spoke to about the allegations says Hoovler's conflict did not arise until Holley's arrest, when Hoovler recused himself, and that prior to that, he was bound to attorney-client confidentiality
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