Former Suffolk DA Spota surrender aid goes to jail next week

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SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY – With a bail application pending appeal dismissed for former Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota and his chief investigator Christopher McPartland, the two are expected to surrender and go to jail on December 10 federal officials said.

According to a ruling by U.S. District Judge Joan M. Azrack, McPartland’s surrender date was set for November 10 and Spota’s surrender date for December 10. McPartland requested a 30-day extension to his surrender date; that request was granted, the judge said. McPartland and Spota are due to surrender by next week, according to the ruling.

In August, Spota, 79, and McPartland, convicted of obstruction by a jury in 2019 – for covering up an incident in which a man was beaten after stealing a sports bag from a former police chief filled with sex toys and pornography – were each sentenced to five years in prison, federal officials said.

Spota, of Mount Sinai and McPartland, 55, of Northport, were convicted by Azrack; Spota was also fined $ 100,000, officials said.

Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, acting United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Jacqueline Maguire, acting deputy director in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced the sentences.

The sentences stem from the convictions handed down on December 17, 2019 by the defendants after a six-week federal jury trial; they were found guilty on all four counts, including conspiracy to tamper with witnesses and obstruct formal proceedings; Manipulation of cookies; obstruction of justice; and being an afterthought of the “deprivation of a prisoner’s civil rights” by former Suffolk County Police Department chief James Burke, the US District Attorney for the Eastern New York District said in a statement.

In December 2012, then head of the SCPD, James Burke “physically and verbally assaulted a shackled prisoner, Christopher Loeb, who was under arrest and held in an interrogation room in the 4th district of Hauppauge,” a statement from the prosecutor. the United States. Office says. “Loeb broke into Burke’s official police vehicle and stole his gun belt and ammunition, as well as a gym bag containing cigars, sex toys, prescription Viagra and pornography. “

After the assault, Burke ordered high-ranking SCPD lieutenants to ensure that detectives and officers who witnessed the assault never reveal what they observed, federal officials said.

Burke also enlisted the help of Spota and McPartland, “to make sure the witnesses remain silent.” worked directly under Spota, had also formed a close friendship with Burke and was the first person Burke called on the morning he found out his vehicle had been broken into, ”the statement from the US attorney’s office said.

A federal grand jury investigation into Loeb’s assault as a “deprivation of civil rights” was opened by the US attorney’s office in Brooklyn, with assistance from the FBI, in the spring of 2013, the statement said.

“Burke, Spota and McPartland have used the power and influence of their official positions, along with the threat of arrests and retaliatory prosecutions, to prevent anyone from cooperating with this investigation,” federal officials said in the statement. . “Due to their obstructionist efforts, the federal investigation failed and was closed approximately eight months later. Office.”

A year later, prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Long Island Criminal Division reopened the investigation.

Burke pleaded guilty to a civil rights violation and conspiracy to obstruct justice in February 2016 and was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment; Spota and McPartland both resigned from the district attorney’s office in light of the charges against them and were struck off, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

The two were sentenced at the Central Islip courthouse.

Loeb was paid $ 1.5 million after filing a federal lawsuit against Suffolk County, according to a 1010wins report.

“Thomas Spota and Christopher McPartland are guilty of ruining the lives of so many other families. They are guilty,” Loeb wrote on Facebook in 2019.

Both men have denied the charges, according to multiple reports.

“Today’s verdict confirms what I said on May 12, 2016 when I stood on the steps of the district attorney’s office calling on him to resign – that Tom Spota, along with Christopher McPartland, ran a criminal enterprise from the district attorney’s office, “said Steve Bellone, 2019 Suffolk County Director.” The allegations of covert espionage, threats against suspected enemies, relentless intimidation tactics and outright fear were clearly set out by federal prosecutors and I commend them for their outstanding work. “

He added that at the time he called for the resignation: “The power of Tom Spota was at its peak and their criminal enterprise was in full swing. This culture of corruption has had a real and profound impact. They have ruined lives. and destroyed careers. “

Bellone said Suffolk District Attorney Tim Sini had “restored the integrity of the office”.

In 2016, Bellona publicly called on Spota to step down, claiming that Spota “runs a criminal enterprise that must be stopped”.

“The actions of these defendants represent the worst of law enforcement,” Sini said.

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