Mark A. Sacha, a former assistant district attorney now seeking the Democratic nomination for the top prosecutor’s job, says a special prosecutor should take over the investigation of the hit-and-run death of Barry T. Moss in the Town of Evans in December 2013.
Sacha says it would be “inappropriate, unethical and illegal” for acting District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr. to head the investigation.
“After the way this case has been handled by Mr. Flaherty and his former boss, Frank Sedita, I think it would be completely inappropriate for Mr. Flaherty to handle this matter in the event it is presented to a second grand jury,” Sacha said. “I am calling on Mr. Flaherty to remove this case and allow a special prosecutor to take over.”
Flaherty declined Saturday to comment in specifics on the Moss case and declined to say what – if any – role he played in the Moss case.
“What I will say is that I want to be judged on my own actions as district attorney,” Flaherty said. “I am my own man. Judge me on my own actions, not on the actions of any of the district attorneys I worked for in the past – Frank Sedita, Frank Clark and Kevin Dillon.”
Flaherty, who became acting DA on Jan. 1, has directed one of his assistants to take a fresh look at the hit-and-run death of Moss, a handyman who was struck and fatally injured by a vehicle on Dec. 22, 2013. Although Evans Police have stated in reports that they determined the identity of the driver who hit Moss, former DA Frank A. Sedita III had misgivings about the evidence.
The Buffalo News reported that in May 2014, a county grand jury voted to indict the alleged driver, Gabriele Ballowe, on two felony charges, but Sedita directed a top assistant to persuade the grand jury to take a second vote. When the grand jury took a second vote, it decided not to indict Ballowe.
Sacha was not involved in the Moss investigation and was not working in the DA’s Office at the time. Sedita fired him in 2009 after Sacha disagreed with Sedita over the handling of an investigation into alleged political corruption in the county.
Flaherty, Sacha and former Town of Tonawanda judge John J. Flynn are seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for the district attorney’s post in November’s coming election.