NYPD union files letters calling for probe into the Orange County DA's handling of 2003 murder case

The New York Police Department's Endowment Association is officially calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul, Attorney General Letitia James, and the U.S. Attorney's Office to launch a full investigation into allegations Orange County District Attorney Dave Hoovler intentionally intervened in the 2003 murder investigation of Megan McDonald.

Jonathan Gordon

Feb 20, 2024, 11:47 PM

Updated 56 days ago

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The New York Police Department's Endowment Association is officially calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul, Attorney General Letitia James, and the U.S. Attorney's Office to launch a full investigation into allegations Orange County District Attorney Dave Hoovler intentionally intervened in the 2003 murder investigation of Megan McDonald.
"We are asking that an investigation be opened immediately so that finally, after 20 long years, the McDonald family can obtain full justice for their beloved Megan, NYPD Detectives' Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo wrote.
McDonald's body was discovered in a field in the town of Wallkill in March of 2003 and the case went unsolved for 20 years before police charged Edward Holley with the murder. Investigators said the pair had a romantic relationship but had broken it off in the days before McDonald's death. The Waywayanda man has denied any involvement.
Holley was already in jail serving time on unrelated drug charges when he was first charged with McDonald's murder last April but he was released after completing his unrelated sentence after the Orange County district attorney's office missed the deadline to present the case to a grand jury.
Shortly after, Orange County District Attorney Dave Hoovler recused himself, citing a conflict of interest, and requested a special prosecutor take over the case. Hoolver's office said he previously represented a person of interest in the investigation when he was a defense lawyer before his time as the county district attorney.
A special prosecutor took over the case and secured a grand jury indictment in January 2024. Holley was arraigned on February 2 and is still being held in Orange County jail.
The Detectives' Endowment Association once represented McDonald's father who was a retired NYPD Detective before he died in 2002, a year before his daughter's murder.
"Every family that loses a child deserves some comfort and some closure," DiGiacomo said in an interview Tuesday with News 12.
In the letter, the union accused Hoovler of acting unethically, intentionally dragging out the case, and allegedly telling Holley to be wary of investigators because he was the prime suspect in McDonald's murder. The letter does not suggest why Hoovler would have acted this way.
The union held an impromptu press conference on February 8 where McDonald's sister Karen Whalen called for an investigation to get answers about the case.
"We still can't understand how David Hoovler could act as a defense attorney for someone involved in my sister's case and turn around and be the district attorney," Megan McDonald's sister, Karen Whalen said.
Spokespeople for Hochul's office, James' office, and the U.S. Attorney's office have not yet responded to our request for comment on the letter.
A spokesperson for Hoovler's office directed us to his statement released on February 8 that read: "Any suggestion that I did anything to interfere with the investigation into Megan McDonald’s death is as categorically false as it is offensive."
News 12 previously spoke with law experts who backed Hoovler's handling of the case.
Holley is scheduled to be back in court on Wednesday, Feb. 21.


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