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Congressman Dan Donovan allegedly used influence to get baby mama’s son out of drug bust

April 3, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Congressman Dan Donovan allegedly used influence to get baby mama’s son out of drug bust

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New York Congressman Dan Donovan is accused of using his official position to get his baby mama’s son out of a heroin bust on Staten Island.

Donovan, a former district attorney who now represents Staten Island and a portion of Southern Brooklyn, stepped in after his domestic partner’s son was apprehended with one of his friend’s for “criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance,” according to the New York Post citing a report filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Timothy O’Connell, Serena Stonick’s son, was arrested with his female friend after the heroin discovery.

“Later that evening, Donovan, while serving in Congress and a former District Attorney, visited the 122 Precinct and used his position to request that officers issue O’Connell and [the friend] a ‘desk appearance ticket’ instead of proceeding with arrest protocols,” the allegation stated. “This intervention allowed the detained to be released from custody, as well as the records to be sealed.”

A desk appearance ticket allows an arrested person to appear in court at a later date to respond to a summons and avoid being transferred to central booking, jailed or arraigned.

While one source with the NYPD indicated that DATs are possible in heroin cases if the amount is small and the suspect has no prior record, another expert said such tickets are unique in heroin cases.

“DATs are reserved for minor offenses — smoking marijuana in public or jumping a turnstile,” Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD investigator and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said. “Heroin? Absolutely not. Especially with the opioid crisis.”

Police verified that O’Connell and the woman, both 19 at the time, were taken into custody in December 2015, but no other information was accessible because the cases were sealed.

Congressman Dan Donovan dismissed the accusation and called it political hit.

“Like many families, Dan has been dealing with a loved one’s opioid addiction — in private until now. These allegations are not only 100 percent false, but Dan has a history of recusing himself from matters involving close friends and family,” Donovan spokesman Pat Ryan said.

“Neither Dan nor anybody at his direction in any way, shape or form, intervened, interfered, inserted themselves in any way into this judicial process,” Ryan continued.

Ryan added that when Donovan first started dating Stonick in 2011, she told him that her daughter also was grappling with addiction and was in drug-treatment court. As the district attorney at the time, Donovan asked for and was awarded a special prosecutor in that case.

“This is a disgusting and false attack on a young man’s struggle with addiction to score points two months before an election,” Ryan stated, referring to June’s GOP congressional primary in which Donovan will be running against ex-con former Representative Michael Grimm.

Ryan discussed O’Connell’s arrest report, which indicated that the man did not make a phone call after he was arrested.

O’Connell’s lawyer, Joe Mure, said his client was charged with seventh-degree drug possession, not distribution. The misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year behind bars. The charge was dropped in 2016.

Mure said that four glassine bags of heroin were hidden in the woman’s wallet when officers pulled her and O’Connell over and that marijuana was later discovered in her shoe at the station. However, the arrest report states O’Connell was seen purchasing heroin.

Ryan stated, “We’re not saying [O’Connell] was charged without any cause.”

O’Connell refused to admit that he was doing drugs.

“No marijuana, no heroin. I don’t even drink,” he said.

He also rejected the claims that Donovan helped him get out of trouble.

The tipster who brought the allegation to the Office of Congressional Ethics said that “multiple sources” contributed to the report, including a retired officer and an active investigator on Staten Island, along with elected officials and someone close to the man’s friend.

The source close to the friend said the woman was with O’Connell when he asked to go to a residence in Great Kills. The source was informed that “he went in, he came out. They continued driving. They were pulled over. They were found with drugs.”

The source added that if Donovan did quell the arrests, he made the wrong choice.

“I thought if these kids went through the system and you get a taste of prison . . . That’s going to scare you, and maybe it was a chance to keep these kids off drugs,” the person stated.

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