A defense attorney, who previously represented a man charged with attempted murder, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree witness tampering after being set-up by a confidential informant.
CANANDAIGUA — A defense attorney, who previously representing a man charged with attempted murder, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree witness tampering after being set up by a confidential informant.
Andrew Tabashneck will serve one year on interim probation, and if there are no issues he will get an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. In addition to the agreement, Tabashneck agreed to complete six ethics classes during his 12 months of interim probation.
“Mr. Tabashneck has 12 months to prove and improve himself. I am sure there will be further investigation by the Appellate Division as it relates to the actions taken by Mr. Tabashneck,” said Ontario County District Attorney Jim Ritts. “Taking into consideration his history, his lack of experience, and the impact that this behavior could have on the judicial system, this appears to be a first step in taking responsibility for his actions.”
The ordeal for Tabashneck blew up as he was showing up to represent his client and was arrested and placed in handcuffs himself. He appeared in front of Supreme Court Judge Craig Doran, shocked and mumbling through the proceedings.
After his arraignment, Tabashneck’s client at that time, Erin "E" Rhynes, was brought in for his scheduled court appearance and informed of his attorney’s arrest. Doran then removed Tabashneck from the case.
In an evidentiary hearing in January, City of Geneva Police stated they received a proclamation by Geneva resident Michael Cosentino stating that Rhynes shot him in the head.
In an unofficial transcript of a recorded conversation between Tabashneck and jailhouse snitch James Moore, Moore presented the idea of offering the shooting victim, Cosentino, an inaccurate affidavit to sign that would support Rhynes' innocence.
In February, Tabashneck's attorney, Daire Brian Irwin, submitted multiple motions for dismissal on his client’s behalf.
“In my 25 years of practicing law I’ve never seen a better example of something that should be dismissed,” Irwin said in court. He noted that a recorded telephone call with a confidential informant was presented before the grand jury, and “in the recorded phone call, ten times my client says he needs to be truthful.”
In March Rhynes was found guilty of second-degree attempted murder and is awaiting sentencing.
"I acknowledged that I tendered an affidavit in which I did not know whether the affiant could sign it with certainty," stated Tabashneck in an email. "However, as I stated on the record in court yesterday, I believed Erin was innocent when I first met him back in June, and I believe that today. I will learn from this incident and continue to fight for each and every one of my clients."-