County Court Judge Debra Schneer allowed 6 time dwi offender Dylan Walsh to walk out with no bail and guess what...he didn't show up yesterday for court....this marks the end to the Schneer campaign. Williams breezes on Tuesday!
Opposition campaign supporters have begun criticizing County Court Judge Deborah Schneer for releasing a convicted felon while he awaits trial and indictment on two charges of driving while intoxicated.
The criticism stems from the case of Dylan T. Walsh, a 28-year-old Rosendale man with a long history of drinking and driving. Walsh has been convicted of DWI five times in New York since 2001, the Ulster County District Attorney's Office said. He has also been convicted of crimes in California.
Walsh was indicted here Aug. 13 on a sixth DWI charge. While he waited to be arraigned on that charge, police say Walsh got drunk Aug. 15 and crashed head-on into a vehicle on Route 209 in Wawarsing. The other driver suffered injuries that were not life-threatening. The accident resulted in Walsh's seventh DWI charge.
At his arraignment Aug. 25, prosecutors asked Schneer to set Walsh's bail at $100,000, but Schneer chose to suspend his license and release him without bail.
The move has become political fodder for supporters of Republican Donald Williams, who is running for the judgeship in November's election against Schneer, a Democrat. Local bloggers have labeled Schneer as an "advocate for defendants," and one member of Ulster's gang and narcotics task force decried Schneer's decision in a newspaper letter this week.
Schneer could not discuss details of the case, but noted that bail is based on a defendant's flight risk. "We don't lock people up in advance just because they're charged of a crime," she said. "The bail process focuses on risk of flight. I followed the law and made what might be considered a hard decision."
State law says that judges should consider the character, reputation, financial resources, length of residency, criminal history and weight of evidence against a defendant when measuring flight risk and setting bail.
Williams declined comment.
Meanwhile, Walsh was arrested again Wednesday for driving without a license. Police said Walsh drove James A. Burns, a state parolee, to a Kingston house that was under surveillance for drug activity. Walsh was given a ticket and released.
Assistant District Attorney John Tobin said he'll soon ask the court to send Walsh to jail without bail."