Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced today that a panel of appellate judges once again rejected David Dale’s efforts to set aside his convictions for Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree and Illegally Practicing Law.
Dale, a former Erie County legislator, was disbarred from the practice of law in 2005 and found guilty of Criminal Contempt in 2011 for disobeying court orders that prohibited him from practicing law. Dale was then indicted by an Erie County Grand Jury for defrauding and bilking unsuspecting clients and continuing to practice law without a license. On June 5, 2012, Dale pleaded guilty to Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree and Illegally Practicing Law before Supreme Court Justice Christopher Burns.
Dale moved to withdraw his plea, claiming he was poorly represented by veteran defense Attorney Thomas Eoannou and bullied by the District Attorney’s Office as well as the court. Justice Burns rejected Dale’s claims, refused to permit him to withdraw his plea of guilty, and sentenced him to a year in jail at the Erie County Correctional Facility.
Dale sued Justice Burns and DA Sedita in an effort to have his conviction dismissed. Dale also claimed that the appellate court was biased against him and could not be fair. The panel of appellate judges rejected Dale’s arguments, refused to set aside his conviction, and unanimously dismissed his lawsuit.