Prosecutorial Misconduct

Chapter 14

Diana Hawthorne stared at the bedroom door. She tried to compose herself before McCoy returned. It was one thing to view a recording like that alone; able to fast forward and quickly do the minor audio editing she had planned on. But to sit there with Jack; his glaring eyes, his crude innuendos. To see the obvious desire he had felt seducing Samantha Weaver - it was more than she could handle. Hawthorne thought she was long passed the spectrum of emotions she felt. Memories of McCoy and herself had flooded her mind, making her resolve all the stronger.

God damn him, she thought bitterly. I'd rather do more time at Bedford Hills than admit anything to that man.

She looked up as Joe Fontana opened the door.

"Officer Stewart, Mrs. Prescott is here. She'd like a word with you."

Fontana joined Hawthorne on the bed, as Stewart closed the door behind him. Upon seeing her face, he removed the handkerchief from his jacket pocket and handed it to her.

"So you and McCoy…you two worked together?"

"I was his assistant."

Fontana sighed as he swore under his breath, causing Hawthorne to look up at him curiously.

"McCoy and his assistants," he said shrewdly.

"Excuse me?"

"I'm sorry," he said sincerely. "You don't know. I worked homicide at the 2 7 before I left the force. I saw how McCoy maneuvers the women he comes in contact with. The man's like a dog in heat, if you'll pardon such a vulgar expression. I still can't believe there hasn't been a class action suit filed against the D A's office over him."

Hawthorne listened carefully as she wiped her eyes.

"You're not a friend of Jack's?"

Fontana shook his head.

"If I had my way, our agency would have stayed out of this. My partner took the case. I wasn't about to let her deal with a guy with McCoy's reputation on her own," he lied. "As far as I'm concerned, this is just more billable hours."

"Thanks," she said as she returned the handkerchief. "Most of the ex- cops I know don't wear Armani suits or carry silk hankies."

Fontana smiled.

"Just because I was a public servant, doesn't mean I have to live like a servant. I have other resources."

"Really," she said warmly, looking Fontana over appreciatively." Too bad we didn't meet under different circumstances, Mr. Fontana."

"Joe, please. Listen, Diana - may I call you Diana? If you don't mind me saying so, I never have understood why an intelligent, successful, attractive woman such as yourself, didn't see through a guy like Jack McCoy in the first thirty seconds. The man builds his career on the backs of hardworking women, yet he has no respect for them. Not to mention his arrogance. What makes him so irresistible?"

Hawthorne considered his question and moment.

"Jack can be very charming, when it suits him."

"Well," Fontana said with a chuckle as he moved closer, "so can I. But women haven't sacrificed themselves for me. Not I'd want that. I mean look at you. You gave up your career, right? You were disbarred trying to help McCoy."

"I gave up my career twice," she said bitterly. "There was the fall out from the Dillard case. But when Jack - when we got back from Ireland...I thought he was going to propose. How did he put it? He 'needed some space'. He'd made a mistake getting involved so soon after his divorce... a mistake. It was just too hard to stay in that office after that. I had no choice but to leave."

Fontana put on a look of shock.

"That's a real shame. I bet you'd have been an EADA by now if you'd stayed. It sounds like the man is poison. Your career, jail time, now this," he said searching her eyes. "Diana, is Jack McCoy really worth another trip to prison? The Suffolk county DA didn't look amused when I spoke to her. I'll bet, if you tell her everything, she'd cut you a deal. A good deal. She sure doesn't seen to be a friend of Jack McCoy's."

Brooke Prescott tapped her fingers against the arm of the chair, letting out an irritated sigh. The Suffolk county Senior Assistant District Attorney was sitting with McCoy on his front porch. McCoy could tell the attorney was not pleased. McCoy had met ADA Prescott at several bar association and state prosecutor functions. She had a reputation as a no nonsense prosecutor with little tolerance for cutting deals and obviously less tolerance for D A's from other jurisdictions in her turf.

He could see balloons inside her car, which was parked beside his house. Although she was dressed causally - indigo jeans, suede boots, and a tailored sleeveless white button down shirt- it was obvious from her jewelry and make up she had had plans for her Saturday afternoon.

"Brooke, I realize this isn't how you planned to spent you weekend - but you are on call," he said impatient with her attitude. "and a crime has been committed- you could at least act like you give a damn."

"Don't get smart with me Jack," she said sarcastically. "This isn't Manhattan. I don't need you to tell me when a crime as been committed. If I didn't give a damn, I'd be at my nieces birthday party instead of here, with your charming self."

McCoy glared at her, as Prescott pulled a pair of glasses from her briefcase. She picked up the yellow legal pad from her lap and skimmed her notes.

"With what my guys and your PI's have, the B & E charge is a slam dunk. As for the illegal surveillance, if you have the disc and she was going for camera, I should be able to make that fly, as well. It's the conspiracy charge that's going to be sticky, if we can't get more out of Hawthorne."

"There is the information Jeffries and Fontana dug up on the connection between Diana and Samantha Weaver," McCoy countered.

Prescott nodded.

"True. But would you pick up Samantha Weaver with what we have," she challenged. "Would a New York county grand jury indict?"

McCoy shrugged his shoulders.

"Probably not," he admitted." I just wish I knew why Diana would even want to involve herself in something like this. What?"

Prescott chewed thoughtfully on her bottom lip.

"I just can't believe you haven't figured out the motive behind that disc."

McCoy raised his hands in defeat.

"If you think you know it, let's hear it."

"Jack," she said earnestly, "even a small time Suffolk county ADA like me, knows about the Dillard case. Diana Hawthorne probably still blames you for the mess she found herself in. My money is on payback - revenge- a chance to make you look bad. Maybe even destroy your career - just like she and Weaver have deluded themselves into believing you did to them."

"But it's been years," McCoy said doubtfully." At least for Diana. Maybe, when she got out of prison. But now?"

"Now is the perfect time," Prescott said flatly." Have you looked at a paper today or listened to the news?"

"What do you think? Brooke, I've been a little busy here," he said impatiently.

"It's official. Arthur Branch is filling Rodham's Senate seat. I'll bet you haven't checked you email or phone messages either? Jack," she said exasperated." don't you get it? Who do you think Branch is going recommend for the interim D A spot?"

McCoy shook his head as he paced back and forth. Finally, he turned to Prescott.

"Arthur and I have discussed this," he said firmly. "He knows if he appoints me DA what kind of Pandora's box he'll be opening."

"Well, apparently he doesn't give a damn. Driving over here, NPR quoted Branch as saying his replacement would come from within the Manhattan DA's office '- a colorful man with a unquestioned commitment to the people of New York county. A commitment to not only win for them, but to hang those who would defy the laws of this great state high'-" the fiery redhead sputtered. "duh, Jack…who does that sound like?"


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