Through tears, former Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Jody Warner apologized Tuesday for the way she recently spoke to an Uber driver, but added that there was more to the story than what was heard in an audio recording posted on social media.
Uber driver Shaun Platt alleged his passenger, 32-year-old Jody Warner, hit him, insulted him and accused him of kidnapping her as he drove her home Friday night.
Platt, 26, recorded part of his conversation with Warner and can be heard asking her to get out of his vehicle and threatening to call the police. Also in the recording, Warner can be heard hurling insults at the driver while letting him know of her position in the DA's office. Platt also referenced that he was assaulted by Warner in an affidavit that was submitted to the DA's office.
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After the recording hit social media over the weekend, Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson announced Monday afternoon that she had terminated Warner saying, "her behavior is contrary to this office’s core principle of integrity, and it will not be tolerated."
A day after her six-year career with the Dallas County DA's office came to an end, Warner joined fellow attorney Pete Schulte and Judge Elizabeth Frizell, who is challenging Johnson's DA position in an upcoming election, on the steps of the Dallas County Courthouse. Neither Shulte or Frizell represent Warner, but were there in support roles as she publicly apologized and addressed the incident with the Uber driver.
"I just want to apologize for my language. For embarrassing the office that I love very much and respect very much. I embarrassed my family, I embarrassed myself," Warner said Tuesday. "There's no excuse for anyone to talk the way that I did, but there is more context to it."
The context, Warner would go on to say, was that she felt uncomfortable when the driver ignored his GPS and began driving her home an unfamiliar way. When he turned down a street that was not hers, she said she snapped at him and asked him where he was taking her.
"When you've prosecuted sexual offenders for two years, I look at everyone a little differently. Especially when I'd been drinking and I'm alone in an Uber and I know the things that happen," Warner said. "Whether it's because of my experience as a prosecutor made me hyper-vigilant or whether I was justifiably uncomfortable, I can't tell you that. I can only tell you what was in my heart. I felt uncomfortable with the route he was taking me."
Warner admitted to drinking and said that's why she was taking an Uber to begin with. She apologized a number of times for the language she used, but reiterated that she was "uncomfortable" and that she didn't feel like she was in the wrong for asking her driver to finish the job of making sure she got home safely.
"I was wrong. I don't know who that gentleman is. No one deserves to be spoken to that way. But I was in an uncomfortable situation ... I was uncomfortable."
Additionally, she refuted Platt's allegation that she assaulted him and said she never touched him. According to Frizell, Platt is now backing away from the assault claim.
Warner, most recently a child abuse prosecutor for the DA's office, said she doesn't now know what her future holds professionally and that she appreciated the opportunity to share her side of the story and to apologize to those she represented.
"I'm sorry to the community of Dallas County. I've tried very hard to serve you in a way that would make everyone proud," Warner said. "I'm sorry to any victims and their parents who are hearing this. I'm not going to follow through on your cases; I know I promised you all I would."
Attempts by NBC 5 to reach Platt have gone unanswered.