A prominent Charleston, South Carolina attorney will not face sanctions – or a public reprimand – after the office of U.S. attorney Adair Ford Boroughs dismissed a complaint against him earlier this week related to an ongoing drug investigation. Ford’s office also acknowledged its own culpability related to the high-profile allegations it leveled against the attorney.
David Aylor – one of the Lowcountry’s best-known and most successful lawyers – was accused last fall of improperly circulating documents related to ongoing federal drug investigations. These documents – left unattended at the Al Cannon detention center – disclosed the names of federal employees and witnesses, inviting threats against them after they were posted online.
They also revealed a target of an ongoing U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation.
Aylor – who was removed from the case following the document leak – previously acknowledged his office’s failure to take proper care of these materials in a November motion submitted to U.S. district court judge Bruce Howe Hendricks.
“His office left a discovery packet for his client with the Charleston Detention Center with the understanding it was to be viewed only by his client,” Aylor’s attorney, Beattie Ashmore of Greenville, S.C., noted in the motion, which sought the dismissal of the complaint.
Federal prosecutors refused to dismiss the case last month – but reversed course on Monday (December 19, 2022).
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“As I told Judge Hendricks, I take full responsibility for the actions of my staff when material was brought
to jailers at the Al Cannon Detention Center,” Aylor said in a statement. “We did not provide the appropriate care in safeguarding and protecting the case information and did not intend for the dissemination. My office’s only mistake was in leaving sealed documents in a locked room for private review, when it should have been taken there for review with counsel present.”
Prosecutors acknowledged Aylor did not “willfully intend” for discovery information to be leaked to anyone other than his client.
“The parties agree that David Aylor did not intend for the dissemination to influence or repress any witness testimony or evidence,” a joint filing submitted to Hendricks noted.
They further acknowledged having “inappropriately publicized portions of the transcript from a sealed hearing” in leveling their allegations against Aylor.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right,” Aylor said in his statement. “I made an unintentional mistake, but federal prosecutors released sealed information publicly which caused tremendous damage to my reputation as an attorney and an active member of the community.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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