Created on Friday, 07 June 2013 Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CLEVELAND (AP) — A fired northeast Ohio prosecutor said he doesn't think he did anything wrong by posing as a woman on Facebook to chat with witnesses in a murder investigation.
Aaron Brockler was fired from the Cuyahoga County's prosecutor's office this week. He told The Plain Dealer (http://bit.ly/1bbVzoo ) of Cleveland that law enforcement workers have often engaged in ruses to get information from people and that he didn't think he should have been fired.
"I think the public is better off for what I did," he told the newspaper.
His former boss, county prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty, didn't think so. He said Brockler's behavior was unethical.
"This office does not condone and will not tolerate such unethical behavior," McGinty said. "He disgraced this office and everyone who works here."
Brockler was the lead prosecutor in the aggravated murder case of Damon Dunn, 29, who was scheduled to stand trial in the shooting death of another man on May 18, 2012, on the city's east side.
Dunn's attorney listed names of two witnesses expected to testify he was elsewhere when the slaying occurred. Brockler said that in chats with the women on Facebook, he posed as a fictitious former girlfriend of Dunn's, hoping to persuade the women not to testify.
"Unless I could break this guy's alibi, a murderer might be walking on the street," he told the newspaper. "There was such a small window of opportunity, I had to act fast."
Brockler said he was motivated by a sense of justice and sympathy for the victim's mother.
"I felt her pain over losing her son," he said. "I made a promise to her that he wasn't going to walk out the front door of the courthouse. This was a horrible killer, and I didn't want him to get out and go kill someone else's son."
Common Pleas Judge Jose Villanueva ordered that all future court filings in the case be sealed. The next hearing is later this month.