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Jefferson County assistant D.A. resigns after DWI charge

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A senior prosecutor in the Jefferson County district attorney’s office resigned Wednesday after he was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated the night before as the result of a reckless driving complaint on Coffeen Street.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Aaron D. Carr, 37, of 1221-5 Faichney Drive, was charged by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department with aggravated DWI about 8:20 p.m. Tuesday, according to police documents. His blood alcohol content was 0.32 percent, or four times the legal limit, the sheriff’s office said. A motorist can be charged with aggravated DWI if the BAC is 0.18 percent or more. The state limit for the less serious charge of DWI is 0.08 percent.

According to a press release issued Wednesday afternoon by District Attorney Cindy F. Intschert, Mr. Carr offered his resignation earlier in the day and it was accepted.

Contacted at his apartment Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Carr said he was sorry for his actions and acknowledged that he is an alcoholic.

“I regret that it happened. I regret that I put other folks’ lives in jeopardy, and there’s no excuse for it,” he said. “The public deserves better than what I gave. I struggle with alcoholism and continue to work on that.”

Mrs. Intschert said she will seek a special prosecutor to handle Mr. Carr’s case.

“As district attorney, I expect and demand that my staff be responsible citizens who uphold the law,” Mrs. Intschert said. “The community deserves the same.”

Mr. Carr also was issued tickets for consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, failure to keep right and initially refusing to take a Breathalyzer test, according to the sheriff’s department. An open container of alcohol was found in his car during the arrest, deputies said.

According to the police report, he later took the Breathalyzer test.

He told officers that he had been drinking “some” beer in an unspecified city location, according to the police report. Mr. Carr said he was driving from his home to the store.

Mr. Carr was released to a third party. He was summoned to appear March 26 in City Court.

Mr. Carr, who has worked in the district attorney’s office since January 2006, primarily was responsible for handling cases involving victimized children. As of September, he had devoted 80 percent of his assistant district attorney duties to the Child Advocacy Center of Northern New York, an arm of the Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County. The center provides a more friendly atmosphere for children who face interviews by police, prosecutors and others during investigations of assaults, sexual abuse and other traumatizing crimes.

Mrs. Intschert told a reporter that, despite Mr. Carr’s arrest and resignation, she regrets losing a valuable prosecutor in her office. She noted that his trial experience “speaks for itself.”

“He has handled some very difficult, involved cases and it’s unfortunate to lose his talent in that regard,” she said.

Mrs. Intschert already has started looking at ways to handle Mr. Carr’s caseload as a result of his departure. “It’s too early” to start thinking about his replacement, she said.

Mr. Carr is a 1994 graduate of Indian River Central School, Philadelphia, and received a bachelor’s degree in 1999 from SUNY Potsdam. He attended Albany Law School before being admitted to the state bar in 2003.

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