Jody Warner, 32, a former assistant DA in Dallas County, Texas, has been terminated after an Uber driver alleged she slapped his shoulder and called him an idiot when he was taking her home from a bar late at night. Warner had worked in the unit prosecuting crimes against children.
Driver Shaun Platt posted what had happened that night to his Facebook page. He says his intent wasn’t to get Warner fired, but rather, that he just wanted an apology. Platt said Warner appeared intoxicated when he picked her up outside a bar in Dallas. Warner asked him to change directions from what the route called for on his GPS and he ended up getting misdirected.
Not knowing where he was going without the navigation system, Platt stated, “I said, ‘Should I make a left up here?’ and she refused to answer me. She said, ‘You can follow the [expletive] GPS’ and she became increasingly angry, even though I was just trying to get her home.”
Warner continued to call Platt degrading names and belittle him. She then slapped him on the shoulder with her fingers and part of her palm. He decided to pull over and asked Warner to get out of the vehicle because he feared for his safety, but the assistant DA refused.
“I said, ‘Nope that’s it,’ and I pulled over on the side of the road. I wanted the cops to show up so they could do something about it,” Platt said. “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.”
After about five minutes, Platt says, he was forced to dial 911 and started recording Warner. On the recording, she calls Platt an idiot and “a legitimate retard.” She also says she is an assistant district attorney, and that he’s kidnapping her because he did not take her to her requested destination.
“You’re committing a third- to first-degree felony, so do you want to take me home?” Warner says on the audio tape.
When police arrived, they placed Warner in the back of a squad car but chose not to charge her. Platt said the officers asked him, “You good?” and he replied he guessed so, realizing not much was going to be done about it, anyway.
District Attorney Faith Johnson confirmed that no criminal charges were filed, but issued the following statement regarding her decision to fire Warner: “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.”
“There’s two sides to every event,” criminal defense attorney Pete Schulte said on his Twitter page in Warner’s defense. “Jody is an honorable prosecutor and the Dallas Co DAs office is lucky to have her.”
Warner publicly apologized for the language she used that night but said she was on edge and feared for her safety after the driver took her a different direction than her home.