Jody Warner, an assistant district attorney in Dallas, Texas, lost her job after being accused of going off on an Uber driver in a lengthy rant that the driver says he captured on an audio recording. You can listen to it below.
According to The Dallas Morning News, the Uber driver, Shaun Platt, 26, alleged that Warner “hit him, insulted him and accused him of kidnapping her while he gave her a ride.” That was just the start of the alleged tirade, which occurred after Platt picked up Warner, 32, at a bar in Old East Dallas on November 10, 2017. She was a prosecutor in the DA’s Crimes Against Children section.
In an emotional press conference on November 14, Warner apologized but denied touching the driver. “I’m very sorry for the language I used. I’m not proud of it,” Warner said. “I appreciate being given the opportunity to give my side. I’m not trying to make any accusations against that driver. I don’t know what’s in his heart. I can tell you that not everything he said was true I never touched him.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A Dallas Newspaper Ran Audio It Says Captures the Encounter
The Dallas Morning News ran an audio file it says captures the incident. “Take me home, dude,” a woman’s voice says. The driver responds that the cops are on their way. The female on the audio tape responds, “Oh my God, you’re going to regret this so much. Just take me home dude. I just want to go home.” The audio was also posted on Reddit.
In the audio, which you can listen to above, the Uber driver says he’s waiting for the cops and asks her politely to get out of his car. She responds, “….now I’m pissed the [expletive] off. Either drop me off at my house or we’ll wait for the cops because I’m not wrong.” He says, “I’m waiting for the cops.”
“Then we’ll wait for the cops,” the woman retorts. “Jesus Christ, you’re an [expletive] idiot in a stupid [expletive] hat. What a joke. Jesus Christ, I’ll make sure Uber knows what an [expletive] joke you are.”
She demands to be dropped off at her house. The driver repeats that he asked her politely to get out of his vehicle. She says that she won’t get out on a side street, and mocks him. “Oh my God, you’re an idiot. You are a legitimate ret*rd. what a joke,” the woman on the audio file says. She also says, “you’re so stupid, I want the cops to come, I want the cops to come so that they can [expletive] you up…that’s what I want.”
The woman brings up her job, saying, “Everything’s being recorded. I’m an assistant district attorney, so shut the f*ck up.” She also says, “I think this might be kidnapping right now actually… I’m pretty sure that had a destination… you’re holding me here.” The driver asks the woman again, “Ma’am, please leave my vehicle… I’m not kidnapping you.” She retorts that he’s kidnapping her and committing a felony.
In the press conference, according to ABC News, Warner added, “I cringe whenever I hear or think about the things that I said that night. It was unacceptable, and no one deserves to be called names,” Warner said. “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.”
2. The District Attorney Terminated Warner After the Story Broke
On November 13, Faith Johnson, the Criminal District Attorney for Dallas County, Texas, announced in a press release that she was firing Jody Warner as a result of the incident. She wrote: “After careful consideration and a thorough investigation, I have decided to terminate Ms. 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.”
The DA continued, “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. I will continue to run this office with transparency and respect for the justice system and the community we serve. I encourage you, the public to look beyond this incident and recognize that our prosecutors work hard each day to seek justice on your behalf.”
The Dallas Morning News reported that, in an interview, the Uber driver alleged that Warner “slapped his shoulder and repeatedly berated him,” and added that Warner could not be reached for comment. According to the newspaper, “Platt said he picked up Warner at Capitol Pub in Old East Dallas and she appeared intoxicated…Platt said he tried to initiate small talk with her, asking if she was excited for the holidays. He noticed she was getting increasingly upset, he said. Platt said it escalated after Warner told him to change directions from the route his GPS directed him to go and he got lost.” He also alleged to the Dallas newspaper that Warner said she “knows people” and added, “Who are they going to believe? I’m a district attorney.” Thus, he called 911 and hit record, according to the Dallas newspaper.
3. Some People Have Come to Warner’s Defense
Not everyone was piling on Jody Warner after the story broke. Pete Schulte, a former Dallas County prosecutor, wrote about the situation on Twitter, and he came to Warner’s defense. A Dallas police spokesperson told Huffington Post, “We’re still trying to gather information about this case.”
“There’s two sides to every event,” Schulte tweeted. “Jody is an honorable prosecutor and the Dallas Co DA’s office is lucky to have her.” However, others on Twitter were extremely unkind to Warner after listening to the audio and came to the defense of Platt, the driver, who is pictured above. “@dallasnews @CityOfDallas Horrible human @jody_warner needs to be FIRED for berating and threatening a good human with her self-inflated power and position #scumbag,” wrote one woman in a fairly typical post.
4. Jody Warner Worked as a Prosecutor in Dallas for More Than Six Years & Goes By the Nickname ‘J Mag’
According to her LinkedIn page, Jody Warner worked as an assistant district attorney for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office for six years and 10 months, starting in the position in February 2011. The page says that she worked previously for PeirsonPatterson, a law firm, as a closing specialist, from 2010 through 2011.
The LinkedIn page says that Warner graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2010 and also attended Texas A&M University. People endorsed her for skills including litigation, legal research, and courts. Warner’s Facebook page has been deleted. Warner’s Klout page says she goes by the nickname “J Mag.” The Klout page has the tag line “real knows real.” Warner’s Twitter and Instagram pages are also deleted. Online records show she previously lived in Lubbock, Texas.
5. Warner Was Part of ‘Team Blonde’ in a Dallas Fundraiser
According to Crowdrise, Jody Warner, of Dallas, was part of a fundraising effort to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. She wrote, in part, “I am so excited to be a ROOKIE on Team Blonde this year and to participate in the incredible organization that is BvB Dallas (‘Blondes v. Brunettes’). As an organization over the past 8 years, BvB Dallas has raised over $2.3 million; raising over $490K last year alone (wow!?).”
The profile continues, “Virtually all of the money raised this “season” will go to funding (i) a postdoctoral fellowship in research and treatment of Alzheimer’s at UT Southwestern Medical Center (the first of its kind in the country and is being funded 100% by BvB Dallas), (ii) a brain stimulation and advanced brain imaging study at the Center for Brain Health at UT Dallas, and (iii) the development of a blood/urine screen to detect vulnerability to Alzheimer’s at the Baylor University AT&T Memory Center…Thanks in advance for your help in the fight to #TackleAlz! GOOOOO TEAM BLONDE! : )”