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Local attorney faces additional charges in alleged June 2017 domestic incident

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A local attorney and former member of the District Attorney's Office was arraigned Monday morning on additional counts related to an alleged violent domestic dispute last June.

Matthew Albert was charged with multple misdemeanors stemming from what prosecutors say was a physical altercation with a former girlfriend in his home in June 2017. Those charges were all misdemeanors: assault, criminal obstruction of breathing and harassment.

Monday morning, Albert was charged with the additional counts of bribing a witness, tampering with a witness and criminal contempt. The alleged bribery charge is a felony.

Prosecutors are alleging Albert, following the incident, tried to coerce the victim into making false statements about the matter.

"I don't want to go into too much detail, because I don't want to get into the heart of my case, but the allegation stems from him asking her (his alleged victim) to prepare a false affidavit regarding the alleged incident on June 1. That is a felony charge."

Albert entered a plea of not guilty in State Supreme Court. His attorney, Thomas Eoannou, said outside the courtroom his client maintains his innocence. He did not say much more.

"We just were arraigned on it. We'll have to wait until we see the discovery packet and take it from there," Eoannou said. 

Judge Deborah Haendiges allowed bail to remain at $5,000, which Albert had already posted. Prosecutors, citing the addition of a felony charge, were seeking an increase of bail to $25,000.

Albert worked in the Erie County District Attorney's Office from 2008 to 2013. He subsequently went into his own practice. Flynn, who has been District Attorney since January 2017, says it's disturbing when someone who worked in that office is in this kind of trouble.

"I treat all people equally. I don't favor anyone and I don't disfavor anyone. But obviously I am concerned when a former member of this office and an attorney is accused of this kind of conduct," Flynn said. 

Albert is due back in court the afternoon of April 30.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.