Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y., has been accused of helping his domestic partner's son avoid prosecution for a heroin-related arrest in 2015, the New York Post reports.
Donovan, a former district attorney, represents Staten Island and some of South Brooklyn. According to a complaint filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics last week, Donovan intervened on behalf of Timothy O'Connell, the son of the congressman's partner Serena Stonick, who was arrested with a female friend when he was 19 for "criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance (heroin)."
According to the allegation, "Donovan, while serving in Congress and as a former District Attorney, visited the 122 Precinct and used his position to illegally request that officers issue O'Connell and [the friend] a 'desk appearance ticket' instead of proceeding with normal arrest protocols. This intervention allowed the detained to be immediately released from custody, as well as the records to be sealed."
Joseph Giacalone, a retired New York Police Department detective and current professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told the Post that "DATs are reserved for minor offenses — smoking marijuana in public or jumping a turnstile. But heroin? Absolutely not. Especially with the opioid crisis going on."
A spokesperson for Donovan denied the allegations, dismissing them as a political attack.
"Like many families, Dan has been dealing with a loved one's opioid addiction — in private until now. These allegations are not only 100 percent false, but Dan has a long history of recusing himself from matters involving close friends and family," Donovan spokesperson Pat Ryan told the Post.
"Neither Dan nor anybody at his direction or suggestion or wink or nod in any way, shape or form, intervened, interfered, inserted themselves in any way into this judicial process," Ryan said.
Ryan noted that the arrest report does not show O'Connell making a call after being arrested.
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