Former prosecutor charged with hitting woman in face - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Former prosecutor Matt Conway charged with hitting woman in face

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Matt Conway (source: Louisville Metro Department of Corrections) Matt Conway (source: Louisville Metro Department of Corrections)

LOUISVILLE, KY., (WDRB) -- A criminal summons has been issued for former Jefferson County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Matt Conway on a misdemeanor assault charge, which alleges he hit a woman in the face following a Christmas party on Dec. 20.

Conway, the younger brother of Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, is accused of hitting the woman in the face with a closed fist following a verbal altercation inside a limousine after attending a party, according to the summons, which was issued on Feb. 21.

The criminal complaint comes two months after the alleged attack. The long delay was the result of a review by the County Attorney's office as to whether it should ask for a special prosecutor to proceed with the case since Conway was a former local prosecutor as well as a request to police for more investigation, according to Jessie Halladay, a spokeswoman for County Attorney Mike O'Connell's office.

"At no time did anyone ask this office to ignore the incident or not issue a warrant," she said.

But a prominent local defense attorney, Frank Mascagni, who said the victim works as a secretary for him, said Conway received "preferential treatment" and he has "never seen a criminal assault misdemeanor not have action taken immediately. It's something very unusual for the process to be delayed for two months.

  "If it was John Doe, he wouldn't have been afforded the same accommodation."

The victim did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. The driver of the limo declined to comment on the case.

On the night of the incident, the limo driver pulled over on 9th street and Broadway and discovered an "ongoing physical altercation" and saw the alleged victim on the floor, according to the complaint. The driver pulled the victim out of the vehicle and her purse was dumped out and thrown from the limo, according to the complaint.

Conway reached past the driver and struck the woman in the face with his fist, according to the complaint. A passing motorist called Louisville Metro Police.

The limousine driver gave a taped statement identifying Conway as the person who struck the woman, who sustained a cut and some swelling on her face.

The victim came to the County Attorney's office to file a complaint on Dec. 23, Halladay said, but a police report had already been taken. A police officer came in on Jan. 13, after having done a few interviews, and prosecutors asked for a follow-up investigation with more witnesses interviews, Halladay said.

On Friday, the officer came back and charges were filed, she added.

"We did our due diligence to make sure we have a solid case on the front end," Halladay said. 

Halladay said Conway has not yet been served with the summons and does not yet have a court date scheduled.

Conway, who is now in private practice, did no return a call to his cell phone seeking comment. He has been arrested previously on a charge of driving while intoxicated.

In May 2011, Conway resigned from the commonwealth's attorney's office for undisclosed reasons. He was the subject of drug investigations in 2008 and 2009 but was not charged either time.

In 2010, Conway was disciplined for lying to Louisville Metro Police officers -- who were questioning him in connection with an internal police investigation -- by telling them that he had not been alerted by a detective that he was under investigation for possible drug use and trafficking.

Several days later, Conway admitted to investigators that Detective Ronald Russ had tipped him off. Conway was placed on probation and told that his job performance needed to improve and that he must submit to "random or unannounced drug tests."

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