DALLAS (CN) – A Texas district attorney fired a prosecutor late Monday after a lost Uber driver recorded her allegedly insulting him, threatening his job and flaunting her powers during a ride last week.
Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said she fired Jody Warner, 32, after Uber driver Shaun Platt, 26, came forward. He accuses Warner of berating him with insults, slapping him on the shoulder and accusing him of kidnapping her after he ended the ride and called police, The Dallas Morning News reported, with a link to the driver’s audio recording.
“After careful consideration and a thorough investigation, I have decided to terminate Ms. Warner,” Johnson said in a statement. “Although criminal charges have not been filed, her behavior is contrary to this office’s core principle of integrity, and it will not be tolerated. As public servants, we represent the people of Dallas County and are examples of justice, professionalism, and ethical behavior both inside and outside of the courtroom. I will not waiver on my expectation of the highest integrity for myself or my staff.”
Warner worked for the district attorney’s office for six years and prosecuted cases in the crimes against children unit. Johnson urged the public to “look beyond this incident” and understand that prosecutors work hard to seek justice on citizens’ behalf.
In the audio recording made by Platt, a woman is heard telling Platt he is an idiot.
“You are a legitimate retard,” the woman says. “What a joke.”
The woman seemed to be upset that Platt ended the ride before reaching her destination and that he called police. Platt is heard calmly asking her several times to leave his car.
“So you’re kidnapping me,” the woman said.
“I’m not kidnapping you,” Platt responded.
“So under the law, it’s recklessly keeping me from where I was going and you have done that,” the woman said. “You’re kidnapping me. You’re committing a third-to-first degree felony.”
Platt says Warner appeared drunk when he picked her up and that she became more upset as he tried to initiate small talk. He said the problems began when she told him to drive in a different direction than his GPS program instructed him. He says she refused to respond to follow-up questions on where to drive, became “increasingly angry” and hurled insults.
“I said, ‘Nope, that’s it,’ and I pulled over on the side of the road,” Platt said. “I wanted the cops to show up so they could do something about it. But I didn’t call the cops. I gave her a chance and she kept saying she was a DA and I didn’t want to get her in trouble.”
The woman is heard warning Platt he was “going to regret this so much,” calling him a “[expletive] idiot in a stupid [expletive] hat” and telling him to “shut the [expletive] up.”
Warner denied striking Platt in a statement to Good Morning America.
“I cringe whenever I hear or think about the things that I said that night,” she said. “It was unacceptable, and no one deserves to be called names. That being said, the audio doesn’t tell you that I was in a situation that made me feel very uncomfortable and I became defensive and eventually angry. I never assaulted my driver or touched him in any way. All I wanted to do was get home safely that night.”