Suffolk County Corruption

Suffolk County Police Department had over 200 officers misconduct charges.
McPartland wanted to promote James Burke to Chief of Police but Steve Levy refused.
Spota, Burke and McPartland installed illegally surveilling, intimidating and wiretapping and uncovered “campaign fundraising irregularities” in the former county executive’s office. Spota, made a deal to drop his fundraising investigation if Levy did not seek re-election.
December 2011, Steve Bellone was elected. Newly appointed Steve Bellone announced new opening for police commissioner and due to “fixed game” Edward Webber, was hired with the conditions, to Nominate James Burke as a Chif of SCPD Department.
January 2012 – Edward Webber commissioner dutifully appointed the DA’s protege, Burke, as chief of police. Read More

James Burke

Former SCPD chief of department

Spota

Former Suffolk DA

Christopher McPartland

former DA’s chief assistant

James Hickey

former Suffolk County police lieutenant

Kenneth Bombace

Bombace, retired and received immunity, testified that in March 2013,

Anthony Leto

was involved in the arrest of Christopher Loeb

Michael Malone

Retired was involved in the arrest of Christopher Loeb

Christopher McCoy

charged with depriving an arrestee of the right to bodily integrity

Suffolk County Police Misconduct

Suffolk County Police Department had over 200 officers misconduct charges. List of Officers Below.

Christine Amthor

Former SCPD Officer – Drugs while her child was in the car

Edward Bienz

Shot and Beat Cabdriver, while intoxicated

Philip Branigan

False Reporting of Crime

Bruce Blanco

False Testimony in Traffic court, fixing ticket for a contractor

Robert Bodenmiller

Shot and wounded Michael Moran, charged with obstruction

Anthony Cappa

Wrote Fake Traffic Summons

Robert Cardona

Lying to IAB

Leonardo Carrasco

Threatened NewsDay reported while on duty

Suffolk County Corruption

FRAUD

Former Suffolk County Legislator And Co-Conspirator Convicted Of Defrauding Mortgage Lender Out Of More Than A Quarter Of A Million Dollars

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the convictions of GEORGE GULDI, a former Suffolk County legislator and disbarred attorney, and VICTORIA DAVIDSON for defrauding Ditech Financial LLC, a mortgage lender, out of more than a quarter of a million dollars. The jury convicted GULDI and DAVIDSON of all counts following an approximately two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “George Guldi, while in prison, concocted and conducted a scheme along with his co-conspirator, Victoria Davidson, to brazenly steal more than $250,000 through blatant lies. Today, a jury held them accountable for their scheme, and they will both face justice for their shameless misconduct.” Read More

Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Edward Walsh Guilty In Scheme To Defraud The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office

Late this afternoon, following three weeks of trial, a federal jury in Central Islip, returned a guilty verdict against Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Edward M. Walsh, Jr., on charges that he engaged in a scheme to steal wages for regular and overtime hours in connection with his employment with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO). The jury convicted the defendant of both counts of an indictment charging him with theft of government funds and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. §§ 666 and 1343, respectively.    Read More

Internal Investigation and Retaliation against officers

Olivia former Suffolk County Police Department (“SCPD”) Detective was subject to a vindictive and retaliatory investigation and prosecution as a result of his provision of information to the news media and federal law enforcement concerning the misdeeds of former SCPD Chief of Department James Burke and others with ties to former Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota and his senior deputy Christopher McPartland. Oliva also alleges improprieties in connection with the conduct of the investigation.  Testimony and judicial factfinding m connection with the federal prosecution of Spota and McPartland, which is corroborated by evidence developed by the CIB, establish that the investigation and prosecution of Oliva were unconstitutionally vindictive, in violation of Oliva’ s Due Process rights.

Civil rights Violation

Loeb was taken to the Fourth Precinct and placed in an interrogation room where he was assaulted by Burke, Detective Kenneth Bombace, and Detective Anthony Leto. All three detectives worked in the criminal intelligence division under Hickey. Detective Michael Malone also witnessed the assault.

December 14, 2012, the day of Loeb’s arrest and assault, McPartland’s Government Corruption Bureau handled the criminal case against Loeb.

February 8, 2013, in a meeting with the assigned prosecutor, Loeb’s lawyer alleged that Loeb was beaten by Burke and sought discovery on this issue.

After this meeting, Spota sought, and eventually obtained, the appointment of a special prosecutor from the Queens District Attorney’s Office to handle Loeb’s criminal case. The detectives would eventually meet with the Special Prosecutor in the Spring of 2013.

June 25, 2013, Bombace, Leto, and other officers were served with federal subpoenas. (Tr. 664–65, 1614.)

However, none of the officers who had witnessed the assault cooperated with the federal investigation.

October and November 2013, the state court judge presiding over Loeb’s criminal case held a suppression hearing where Leto testified and lied about the assault of Loeb. December 2013, the federal investigation was closed.

Case Background

2013 FBI Special Agents served members of the SCPD with federal grand jury subpoenas. 

Burke, Spota and McPartland learned of the existence of the federal investigation. they instructed Hickey to debrief his Intel detectives and learn what was said by the FBI agents serving the subpoenas, and find out who might be cooperating with them. However, because of the threats and intimidation, none of the Intel detectives cooperated with the investigation, and it was closed eight months later, in December 2013. Through the efforts of the defendants and Burke, the initial grand jury investigation of Burke’s civil rights violation was successfully derailed. 

2015, Burke, Spota and McPartland learned that the federal investigation had been reopened.

They reacted swiftly to obstruct it by stopping detectives to cooperate with the FBI. In early aDecember 2015, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of New York indicted Burke. 

August 17, 2015 meeting with Burke and McPartland where McPartland told Hickey that he “lost control of Bombace,” whom McPartland called a “rat.”

Burke pleaded guilty approximately two months later, admitting to his involvement in both the deprivation of Loeb’s civil rights and the conspiracy to obstruct justice. In November 2016, he was sentenced to 46 months’ in prison.  Case Recap

2016 Arrest and resignations

February 2016 Spota and McPartland both resigned from the District Attorney’s Office in light of the charges against them and have since been disbarred and Burke was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment.

2016 McPartland took ex-police chief’s cash for legal defense

On February 18, 2016, D’Orazio received what he has described, in substance, as an out-of-the-blue phone call from defendant McPartland, who was seeking to meet with him. Per D’Orazio, and as supported by his phone records, this was the first time D’Orazio ever recalled McPartland calling him on the phone. In fact, McPartland did not even have D’Orazio’s phone number – in order to obtain it, McPartland had to contact another friend of Burke’s, who McPartland knew from the Suffolk County Police Department.

During this phone call, D’Orazio agreed to meet with McPartland. The two met at the Golden Dynasty (“Golden Dynasty”) restaurant in St. James. During the meeting, defendant McPartland asked D’Orazio if he would loan him $25,000 to aid defendant McPartland in paying his legal defense fees. Defendant McPartland promised that if D’Orazio made the Loan, McPartland would provide a promissory note and pay him back.

According to D’Orazio, he was stunned by this request, as the two were only acquaintances. D’Orazio was uncertain how to handle this, so he discussed the matter with Burke’s half-brother, John Toal (“Toal”), who had been placed in charge of handling Burke’s finances while he was incarcerated. The two men decided this should be brought to Burke’s attention.

Following the request, and just one day prior to visiting Burke in jail, on February 24, 2016, Toal removed cash and jewelry from a safe deposit box he held jointly with Burke at a TD Bank in St. James (“Safe Deposit Box 1”). He then met D’Orazio at a different TD Bank located in Centereach, and they opened a new safe deposit box in both Toal’s and D’Orazio’s names, but not in Burke’s name (“Safe Deposit Box 2”).1 Toal placed most of the contents of Safe Deposit Box 1 into Safe Deposit Box 2.

The following day (February 25, 2016), D’Orazio, Toal and Burke’s two other brothers visited Burke at the MDC. During the visit, D’Orazio advised Burke of McPartland’s request for the Loan. D’Orazio told Burke that, although he had the money himself, he did not want to provide the Loan to defendant McPartland, as McPartland was Burke’s friend, not his. Burke told D’Orazio to inform defendant McPartland, in substance, not to worry; and further instructed D’Orazio to tell McPartland that D’Orazio would get him the money. Burke then directed D’Orazio and Toal to remove the $25,000 that had previously been in his safe deposit box (i.e., Safe Deposit Box 1), and provide McPartland the funds.

Four days later, on February 29, 2016, D’Orazio and Toal went to the TD Bank in Centereach and removed $25,000 in cash from Safe Deposit Box 2 – i.e., the box held jointly in Toal and D’Orazio’s names, but which contained Burke’s cash. D’Orazio then contacted defendant McPartland and arranged, once again, to meet at Golden Dynasty.

October 25, 2017 FBI agents arrested Spota and McPartland

October 25, 2017 FBI agents arrested Spota and McPartland on charges including witness tampering and deprivation of civil rights.  Spota resigned his office in November.

Detectives

Suffolk police arrested Loeb, then a heroin addict, in December 2012, after he allegedly stole a duffel bag containing a gun belt, ammunition, sex toys and pornography from Burke’s unmarked police car, which had been parked in front of Burke’s St. James home.

Three Suffolk detectives – Kenneth Bombace, Anthony Leto and Michael Malone – cursed and slapped Loeb at the Fourth Precinct to get Loeb to confess. Burke then “fiercely punched, kicked, kneed and screamed at Loeb, stopping only when the other officers intervened,” Livingston wrote.

 Burke, Chris and Hickey ensured that the detectives stayed quiet in response to the federal investigation. However, in Loeb’s criminal matter, the state court scheduled suppression hearings to determine whether Loeb’s statements to the officers at the precinct should be suppressed.

Hickey, Burke and McPartland all met together in Burke’s office in September 2013 to prepare Burke in case he had to testify at the suppression hearing. During this meeting, McPartland and Burke engaged in a brief mock examination during which they settled on a story that Burke stuck his head into the interrogation room to see “if he recognized Loeb from his neighborhood because . . . Burke, had an elderly mother who lived next door to him and the park across the street from his house was known for drug problems.”

At this meeting, they also discussed which of the detectives should testify at the suppression hearing. They agreed that Leto should testify because Malone was “too shaky” and Bombace was too inexperienced.

Leto ended up testifying falsely at the suppression hearing in Loeb’s criminal case, which was held over seven days in October and November 2013.

Bombace, Leto, and Hickey were granted either immunity or cooperation deals, they admitted their role in the conspiracy to cover up the beating, and Burke was eventually charged in 2016 after resigning in late 2015. Det. Thomas Cottingham, the lead detective handling the Loeb case, left the force in July 2013.

Burke served 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release for his charges.

Detective Kenneth Bombace

Bombace, who received immunity, testified that in March 2013,

Burke and Hickey told Bombase, Leto and Malone that they “were going to have to go iin to meet with and talk with the special prosecutor. . [and] that we needed to go and meet with the chief in his office to discuss this.”

Later that day, Bombace, Leto and Malone met with Burke, who told them to say,

“look, nothing happened here. . . .

I might have poked my head in, the door might have been opened or it might have been closed. It’s not a big deal.”

According to Bombace, Burke told them that he popped his head in to see the suspect and did not provide any further explanation why it was necessary for Burke to see the suspect. (Bombace understood that he was to tell the special prosecutor this false story, which he did.

Read More

Detective Anthony Leto

Leto, who plead guilty and cooperated with the government, also testified about these meetings with Hickey and Burke in March 2013.

Anthony Leto, described Loeb’s beating by Burke was more brutal than then the earlier testimony by Det. Kenneth Bombace.

Leto testified: Loeb calls Burke a “pervert.”and “He starts striking, kicking, punching him, grabbing his ears, shaking him.”

Leto testified that when the detectives met with Hickey, they discussed whether they “should say the chief came in the room, just popped his head in the room, was [he] even in the building? And we all agreed that was not a good idea.”

According to Leto, at the subsequent meeting with Burke later that day, “[i]t was finally decided that what we would say [was that] the door was open and Chief Burke popped his head in and then left, just asked how everything was going and left.”

Leto testified that, in the meeting with Burke, different scenarios were discussed, including the possibility that Burke was not even at the precinct. Burke told the detectives he just “popped his head into where Loeb was and that was it.”

Read More

Detective Michael Malone

Malone was involved in the arrest of Christopher Loeb.

October 2013 Malone was inside an interrogation room with Leto and Detective Kenneth Bombace while they interviewed Loeb, at the Fourth Precinct.

Later on Leto and Malone were told that they “were going to have to go in to meet with and talk with the special prosecutor. . [and] that we needed to go and meet with the chief in his office to discuss this.”

Later, Bombace, Leto and Malone met with Burke, who told them “look, nothing happened here. . . .

I might have poked my head in, the door might have been opened or it might have been closed. It’s not a big deal.”


Read More

Fall of 2014, an incident occurred at the Central Islip Federal Courthouse involving Suffolk County detectives, which raised suspicions amongst Burke, McPartland and Spota that Bombace might be cooperating with the federal authorities.

June 3, 2015, Bombace learned from his lawyer that the federal investigation into the Loeb assault had been reopened. Despite the efforts by Defendants and Burke to obstruct the investigation, in September and October 2015, Bombace and Leto decided to cooperate and testified in the grand jury.

Before the end of October, Burke would resign as Chief and Hickey would himself be served with a grand jury subpoena.

In December 2015, Hickey began to proffer with the government and Burke was arrested.

At trial, Hickey recounted how, beginning in 2013, he discussed the Loeb assault with Defendants and Burke and how he was tasked with ensuring that the detectives under him stayed quiet. Hickey recounted numerous conversations in which McPartland and Spota: (1) discussed the need to “keep [B]urke out of jail,” keep Hickey’s guys “quiet and tight,” and “to not say anything about this”; and (2) repeatedly asked Hickey if Hickey’s guys were “holding up” and if they “are they towing line” and are “okay.”

At one point, Burke stressed to Hickey that there were two questions for the detectives to answer—“Did you hit anybody?” and “Did you see anybody hit anybody”—and that the answers were “Two nos. Period. Not that fucking difficult.”

June 4, 2015 meeting, which was held the day after Bombace learned that the federal investigation had been reopened. At this meeting, both Spota and McPartland threatened witnesses and, along with Burke, made numerous other incriminating statements. (Tr. 1689–97, 1835–1849.) At trial, the government argued that Hickey’s account of this meeting alone was sufficient to convict Defendants.

Hickey also recounted, inter alia, an August 17, 2015 meeting with Burke and McPartland where McPartland told Hickey that he “lost control of Bombace,” whom McPartland called a “rat.”

Burke’s girlfriend testified that Burke often spoke to McPartland during the summer of 2015 and that she overheard Burke tell McPartland that “if everyone would just be quiet, that this would all go away.” (Tr. 2935–37.)

The evidence at trial also revealed, inter alia, two incidents that occurred after Burke’s arrest and further corroborated Hickey’s account of Defendants’ involvement in the obstruction.

  • After Burke was arrested and pled guilty, he instructed his lawyer to tell Defendants that he was not cooperating with the government—a message that his lawyer passed on to Defendants.
  • Additionally, when McPartland needed money to pay for an attorney, he solicited and received a $25,000 cash loan from Burke’s close friend in extremely suspicious circumstances that made it clear that McPartland knew the money was coming from Burke, who was in jail at the time.

February 2013 and September 2013 Coaching Sessions Involving McPartland and Burke Hickey testified that he attended a meeting in February or March 2013 with Burke and McPartland where Burke and McPartland tried to come up with a “plausible explanation why Burke was at the Fourth Precinct” on December 14. (Tr. 1596, 1983.) Hickey’s testimony about this meeting is a primary focus of Defendants’ post-trial motion.

According to Hickey, at this meeting, Burke and McPartland talked about the possibility that Burke was there just to “pop his head in and nothing more.” (Tr. 1596.) During this backand- forth between Burke and McPartland, they discussed whether Burke should deny being at the precinct at all. McPartland, however, shot down that idea, reasoning that too many people had seen Burke at the precinct. (Tr. 1596–97.) Once it was decided that Burke had to admit he was at the precinct, Burke suggested that he could say that he “just stuck [his] head in” to “see if he recognized” Loeb.

McPartland approved this story as plausible and added that Burke could say that he “didn’t even know if the door was opened or closed.”

Bombace and Leto also testified that they met with Burke in March 2013 concerning the fabricated narrative of the assault which they were to follow.

2013, Hickey—acting at the direction of Burke and Defendants— ensured that the detectives stayed quiet in response to the federal investigation. However, in Loeb’s criminal matter, the state court scheduled suppression hearings to determine whether Loeb’s statements to the officers at the precinct should be suppressed. According to Hickey, in advance of these hearings, Hickey, Burke and McPartland all met together in Burke’s office in September 2013 to prepare Burke in case he had to testify at the suppression hearing.

During this meeting, McPartland and Burke engaged in a brief mock examination during which they settled on a story that Burke stuck his head into the interrogation room to see “if he recognized Loeb from his neighborhood because . . . Burke, had an elderly mother who lived next door to him and the park across the street from his house was known for drug problems.”

October 30, 2015, Hickey was served with a grand jury subpoena. That same day, Hickey met with Burke and learned that “Leto had collapsed in the grand jury.”

McPartland and Spota were indicted in October 2017. Jury selection for trial began on November 12, 2019 and opening statements commenced on November 14, 2019.

As discussed infra, prior to trial, the prosecution and the defense fought over the disclosure and admission of Hickey’s medical records, which were ultimately admitted at trial.

Thirty-three days prior to trial, the government turned over to the defense 3500 material, which contained over 70 pages of 302 reports and agent interview notes from Hickey’s proffer sessions. As part of his cooperation, Hickey met with the government 17 times between December 4, 2015 and November 11, 2019. (Tr. 1777.) Additionally, after November 11, 2019, Hickey also met with the government on three or four occasions to prepare for trial.

During trial, the defense subpoenaed the notes of Hickey’s attorneys. After receiving the subpoena, Hickey took the extraordinary step of waiving attorney-client privilege and produced 75 pages of his attorneys’ notes and outlines as well as four pages of notes that Hickey himself drafted in preparation for his first meeting with Sapone in November 2015.

Failure to disclose any Giglio material concerning Hickey’s testimony

December 9, 2019, McPartland’s attorney, Larry Krantz, spoke over the phone with an Assistant United States Attorney (“AUSA”) on the trial team. Mr. Krantz advised the government that he was concerned about the government’s failure to disclose any Giglio material concerning Hickey’s testimony and stressed that the “government could not rely on the 3500 material as sufficient disclosure in that regard, because the defense had no way of knowing what may have been said by Hickey, in his government interviews, that was not contained in the 3500 material.”

(The AUSA responded that she had conferred with the prosecution team and there were no Giglio disclosures to make. (Id.) The next day, both the defense and the government rested.

Defendants’ Request for a New Trial Based on the Current Record

Defendants argued that Hickey committed perjury when he testified that he witnessed the February/March 2013 coaching session involving McPartland and Burke. Defendants’ argument concerning this testimony is two-pronged. In their opening brief, Defendants appear to argue that they are entitled to a hearing on this claim and also that, based solely on the current record, there is sufficient evidence for the Court to find that Hickey perjured himself on this point and therefore to order a new trial. Defendants’ reply brief, however, abandons this argument and instead focuses on their request for a hearing on all of their claims. It was Denied.

2017

FBI Seeking Additional Victims of Suffolk County Police Officer Charged Today with Civil Rights Violation

July 27, 2017

Suffolk County Police Officer Christopher McCoy was charged today with depriving an arrestee of the right to bodily integrity by forcing her to perform a sexual act in the precinct.

According to the complaint (as the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the description of the alleged activity set forth herein constitutes only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation), on March 16, 2017, while on duty, McCoy arrested Jane Doe as she was the subject of several outstanding warrants in connection with unresolved vehicle and traffic offenses. Jane Doe was transported to the First Precinct in Wyandanch. During arrest processing, while McCoy and Jane Doe were alone in the precinct’s juvenile room, McCoy forced Jane Doe to perform oral sex. Upon her release, Jane Doe promptly reported the incident.

McCoy was arrested this morning by FBI agents on Long Island.

“This type of behavior is outrageous. It won’t be tolerated within our criminal justice system, and those who subject others to such cruel conduct will be swiftly removed from serving in any official capacity. Many thanks to our partners from the Suffolk County Police Department for working with us and providing assistance throughout the course of this investigation, which is currently ongoing. We ask any individuals who may have been a victim of Officer McCoy to call us at (212) 384-2166,” said Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney, Jr. Read More

QUESTION: Now, you testified about 24 meetings with the government, correct?

ANSWER: Right.

QUESTION:: And during those meetings you told them everything you could possibly think of that was relevant to their investigation in this case, true?

ANSWER: I told them as much as possible in the times that we were together and the questions that they asked.

QUESTION: You didn’t hold back information, correct?

ANSWER: As a matter of fact, each time I came in there was more information because they asked me different questions, so yes, I told them everything that I had knowledge of.

QUESTION: And certainly if something was important as to Mr. McPartland, you made sure to tell them early on in those sessions, true? It was important.

A: I told my lawyer, I told the government, my entire story regarding this case.

****

QUESTION: You testified that somewhere around February 2013, you were present when James Burke met with Christopher McPartland. Do you recall testifying to that?

A Yes.

****

QUESTION: Do you recall testifying before this jury in February of 2013, Mr. McPartland was vetting cover stories for Mr. Burke. Do you recall that? Yes or no?

A: Yes, he did. Yes.

****

QUESTION: Would you agree that’s pretty important accusation you’re making, that Mr. McPartland is vetting false cover stories for Mr. Burke openly in front of you. Would you agree that’s an important allegation in this case?

A It’s a fact.

****

QUESTION: You understand that is an important accusation, in your own mind, true?

A: True.

QUESTION: Isn’t it a fact that in all your meetings with the government, at least through November 11, 2019, you never once made that accusation?

A: I don’t recall if that was covered. I remember in prior, coming up to the trial, they asked me specifically about dates and times and I provided that to them.

QUESTION: Do you recall ever making that accusation to the government prior to November 11, 2019. Yes or no?

MS. GATZ: What were the accusations?

QUESTION: The accusations that in February 2013, Mr. McPartland with Mr. Burke and essentially, according to you, vetted cover stories for the Loeb situation?

A: I told the government from the very beginning about McPartland okaying the progression of theories. It was Mr. McPartland who did the progression of theories with Burke, yes, and in front of me, and I told that to the government from the beginning.

QUESTION: So you told that to the government in the beginning. The beginning is December 2015, that’s when you had your initial proffer meetings.

A: I don’t know in the first meetings, there were numerous, but I provided that information to the government.

QUESTION: Certainly before your guilty plea, true?

A: I don’t recall when it was provided to the government. You’d have to check their notes of their interviews which I didn’t have access to.

QUESTION: But that was an important piece of information that you provided to the government according to you early on, correct?

A: Correct.

QUESTION:

Isn’t it a fact, Mr. Hickey, that you testified to a number of important facts in this courtroom that you had never told the Government in any of your interview sessions up to November 11, 2019?

****

QUESTION: That is not a fact. Everything I said in this courtroom I’ve had said to the Government.

QUESTION: You’re clear about that in your mind that every significant statement you made in this courtroom concerning Mr. McPartland’s involvement in the conspiracy you testified to, you told the Government in prior interview sessions prior to November 11th, 2019, correct?

MS. GATZ: Objection. That’s a different question, your Honor. Objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A: I’ve met with the Government after November 11th in preparation for this trial. Everything I testified to in this courtroom I said to the Government.

QUESTION: My question is: Did you tell the Government everything significant that you testified to in this courtroom in any of your interviews up to November 11th, 2019?

A: I told the Government everything that was asked of me up to November 11th and what was asked of me after November 11th.

* * * *

QUESTION: Mr. Hickey, I placed before you what I have marked as Defendant’s Exhibit 34. Do you see that there?

A: Yes.

QUESTION: That is a list of the 17 dates for which we have received interview notes from

the Government. Can you take a look at those dates and tell me if they seem roughly

right to you. It shows 17 meetings or phone conversations.

A: I’ll take your word for it.

* * * *

QUESTION: Now, you’ll accept my representation that these are the 17 meetings or conversations for which we have notes?

A: Yes.

QUESTION: So it ends on November 11, 2019, do you see that there?

A: Yes.

QUESTION: About how many times did you meet with the Government after that?

A: For trial prep, three or four.

QUESTION: Were those lengthy meetings?

A: No, not really.

****

QUESTION: And you indicated that you personally saw, with your own eyes, Mr. McPartland nodding yes or no when Mr. Burke spun different scenarios that he might make up, true?

A: It could have been as late as it was after Loeb public in early February, and before the special prosecutor, around the time of the special prosecutor, which that was in March. So it was an approximate timeframe.

QUESTION: I’m asking you the approximate timeframe. But it’s your testimony in this

Court that you personally saw with your own eyes Mr. McPartland coaching,

essentially coaching, Chief Burke on how to lie; is that your testimony?

A: Yes.

QUESTION: Would you agree that that is a significant allegation in your own mind as to this trial?

A: Yes.

QUESTION: Isn’t it a fact that in all 17 of the meetings that are reflected on that document, you never once made that allegation?

A. That is not a fact. I spoke to the Government about two separate meetings in Burke’s office with McPartland, one in that timeframe that we’re speaking of right now, and one by the Loeb suppression hearings which was a mock crossexamination that McPartland conducted on Burke in my presence.

QUESTION: My question is simply — and if you can answer it yes or no, please do – isn’t it a fact that you never made the allegation that I just described in any of those meetings with the Government; yes or no?

A: No, that’s not a fact. I talked to the Government about two separate meetings.

QUESTION: I’m asking –

THE COURT: You already answered it. You asked it. This is the second time you asked it and you answered it twice.

QUESTION: Can you tell me at which of these meetings you told the Government that allegation against Mr. McPartland?

A: I told the Government about two separate meetings.

QUESTION: I’m asking you to tell me which of the meetings you made the allegation – I’m referring to February 2013 — the allegation that in February 2013, approximately, Mr. McPartland coached Mr. Burke. Which of the Government meetings did you make that allegation in?

A: I’ve never seen the Government’s notes, so I couldn’t tell you which meeting that was in.

****

QUESTION: And isn’t it a fact — by the way, that first meeting was pretty much an all day meeting, true?

A: Which meeting are you referring to?

QUESTION: December 4th.

****

QUESTION: Isn’t it a fact that at that meeting you said nothing about Mr. McPartland coaching Mr. Burke’s lies in February, in or about February 2013; isn’t that true?

A: I don’t recall what was said at the first meeting, the second meeting, the 17th meeting. I don’t know what was discussed.

QUESTION: You also testified in this courtroom on direct that Mr. Burke openly admitted in front of Mr. McPartland – I believe your words were — that Burke had beat the hell out of Loeb. Do you recall that?

A: Yes.

****

QUESTION: Isn’t it a fact, Mr. Hickey, that in those 17 meetings referenced in these notes, you never once made that accusation to the Government, yes or no?

A: Many times I talked to the Government about Burke openly saying about his beating of Loeb. We talked about it. Burke would always admit it when he was feeling sorry for himself. So, it was openly discussed.

****

QUESTION:In the first meeting with the Government did you make that accusation, yes or no?

A: I don’t recall what was said in the first meeting, counselor.

QUESTION: You also testified in this courtroom that it was openly said in front of Mr. McPartland that the goal of what everyone was doing was to keep Burke out of jail; do you remember that?

A: Keep Jimmy out of jail. We talked about it all the time.

****

QUESTION: Isn’t it a fact that in all 17 of these meetings reflected on Defendant’s Exhibit 34, you never once said that it was discussed that the purpose of these conversations was to keep Jimmy out of jail? Isn’t it a fact you never said that before in these meetings?

A: I don’t know what was said in those meetings. You would have to go to the Government’s notes for that.

QUESTION: You don’t remember, one way or the other, if you said that before, correct? It’s a yes or no. Do you remember one way or the other?

A: I don’t remember what was said exactly in which meeting.

QUESTION: So we would have to go to the Government’s notes or call an agent to get that information, correct?

A. Correct.

QUESTION: Now, you also testified to this jury that Mr. McPartland said to you expressly about the Oliva wire that it was a pretext for getting revenge against John Oliva, and that they could use the leaks as a pretext for retaliating against him. Do you recall you testified that Mr. McPartland expressly said that to you? expressly said that to you?

A. He said it in a meeting that we were at in the DA’s office, yes.

****

QUESTION: Isn’t it a fact that in none of these 17 sessions with the Government did you ever make that accusation, yes or no?

A: Once again, counselor, you have to go to the Government’s notes to see where and when that was discussed.

****

QUESTION: But is it your testimony that you said it at least in one of the meetings?

A: Everything I testified in this courtroom I have said at one time or another to the Government, yes.

QUESTION: I’m asking about the 17 meetings, not the ones after this date. Do you understand that?

A: I understand what you’re trying to get me to say. I can say everything I testified in this courtroom I’ve said it one time or another to the Government. I don’t know which was said at what meetings.

QUESTION: In other words, there may have been some things you said in this courtroom that you told the Government after November 11th, 2019, in preparation for your testimony, correct?

A: Correct.

QUESTION: Now, that would have been almost four years after you started cooperating, correct?

A: Correct.

QUESTION: And is it your testimony that four years after your cooperation and after 17 meetings with the Government, you remembered significant new information just prior to this trial, is that what you’re saying?

A: It wasn’t new information, counselor, it was information that I was directly questioned about prior to testifying at this trial.

QUESTION: And, in other words, there was new information — withdrawn. Was there new information that you had never before told them in any of the 17 prior sessions?

A: In preparation for the trial we went through an extensive timeline and the Government asked me specific questions about specific date ranges and times, and I explained to them what was going on at those times. It wasn’t new information. It was the first time that I was asked.

QUESTION: When I say new information, I mean the first time you told the Government about it. Do you understand that?

A: Yes. The first time I was asked is the first time I told.

****

QUESTION: Wasn’t it your obligation to be as full and complete with them as you could be?

A: I was full and complete with them as I could be at every meeting and every phone call.

QUESTION: But if we want to know at what meetings any of these were allegedly said by you, you don’t recall. We would have to use another source, correct?

A: Correct.

Subsequently, on re-direct examination, Hickey gave the following testimony:

QUESTION: Now, you had 17-plus meetings with the government, 17 proffers and a bunch of meetings to prepare your trial testimony; is that right?

A: Yes.

QUESTION: Is it fair to say you don’t remember what you said on each occasion but you remember what you said in toto with the government?

A: Yes.

QUESTION: Is it fair to say in trial preparation many more specific questions were asked of you than had been asked during your proffer meetings?

A: Absolutely.

Leto, it was at the second meeting with Burke in which the false narrative was arrived at and honed. As Leto testified:

Q: And can you tell us what happens when you have the meeting with Chief Burke in his office?

A: We sit down at a table and start discussing about what we’ll say happened, you know, in the room with Christopher Loeb. Did the Chief come in the room? Was the door open? Was the Chief even there? Was he even in the precinct? You know, just throwing ideas around. And it was kind of these are the ideas that he was throwing out there.

* * *

Q: Who decided the final version of the story?

A: The chief.

Q: And that’s Chief Burke?

A: Yes.

Anthony Leto, described Loeb’s beating by Burke was more brutal than then the earlier testimony by Det. Kenneth Bombace.

Leto testified: Loeb calls Burke a “pervert.”and “He starts striking, kicking, punching him, grabbing his ears, shaking him.”

Loeb “is screaming, groaning, trying to cover up,”

“We tried to separate Chief Burke from him.”

“Was it hard?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Boeckmann asked.

“Yes,” “He was going at him pretty hard.”

“He was all amped up.”

Leto testified that when the detectives met with Hickey, they discussed whether they “should say the chief came in the room, just popped his head in the room, was [he] even in the building? And we all agreed that was not a good idea.”

According to Leto, at the subsequent meeting with Burke later that day, “[i]t was finally decided that what we would say [was that] the door was open and Chief Burke popped his head in and then left, just asked how everything was going and left.”

Leto testified that, in the meeting with Burke, different scenarios were discussed, including the possibility that Burke was not even at the precinct. Burke told the detectives he just “popped his head into where Loeb was and that was it.”

Hickey “tells me that they did not want Chief Burke to take the stand and I was chosen to get on the stand.”

“I’m unhappy that I have to go,” he said. “ … I voiced my views.”

His attempt, he said, was fruitless.

“This is what you signed up for,” he said Hickey told him.

What did that mean? Boeckmann asked.

“It means this is what you have to do,” Leto answered.

“This,” he said, “is now your job.”

Michael Malone, who also had been in the room, “said something about [urinating] in Christopher Loeb’s coffee.”

“When he said that, did you think he was serious?” Boeckmann asked.

“No,” Leto said.

“Did he do it?” she pressed.

“No,” Leto answered.

However, later in the evening, Leto testified that Malone had boasted that he had — to others at a squad Christmas party at Oheka Castle.

Suffolk County DA

District Attorney Thomas J. Spota and Government Corruption Bureau Chief Christopher McPartland Convicted of Obstructing a Federal Civil Rights Investigation

1988, 1992 and 1996 hiring exam scandal.

Involved tests that awarded points for answers that matched profiles of ideal officers and allegations that senior staff who had answers ran a prep school. Hundreds of 37,000 applicants were found to have falsely answered questions in order to match profiles of ideal officers.

A grand jury indicted a Sergeant who taught a prep course for using stolen profile information to coach more than 700 applicants. A Lieutenant was indicted for destroying evidence of test cheating sought by the District Attorney’s Office. That Lieutenant ultimately retired and is now a practicing attorney on Long Island.

A Deputy Inspector admitted that he had answers to the 1996 test and faced departmental charges for coaching the sons of friends in the department for the 1988 test. Ultimately 55 officers averted dismissal. Then-Chief Gallagher offered: “I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.” Pursuant to an agreement negotiated by County attorneys, the officers and the PBA, three officers received six-month suspensions, 19 received shorter suspensions – some as little as two days, and ten were exonerated. A retired detective and spokesman for the Guardians, a fraternal organization of black officers, noted “It’s kind of strange that a lot of the names people were expecting on that list weren’t there,” saying that he believed that senior officers were protecting friends and family. 


2007 Spota wrongfully convicted a 17-year-old. 

Supreme Court Vacated Conviction of Martin Tankleff – The NYS Supreme Court Appellate Division Second Department unanimously vacated the conviction of Martin Tankleff for the 1988 murder of his parents and ordered his case back to Suffolk County for a retrial “to be conducted with all convenient speed,” stating “It is abhorrent to our sense of justice and fair play to countenance the possibility that someone innocent of a crime may be incarcerated or otherwise punished for a crime which he or she did not commit.” 

A member of Tom Spota’s law firm is reported to have represented Seymour Tankleff’s business partner in the late 1980s in a matter related to the sale of cocaine out of the store.  A baking supplies wholesaler is also reported to have testified in 2004 that he had frequently observed Detective James McReady and Seymour Tankleff’s business partner together in the store in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Tankleff ultimately spent 17 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.  He graduated Touro Law Center in 2014 and passed the New York State bar exam in 2017.

In April 2018, Tankleff reached a settlement with Suffolk County for $10 million.


Detective John Olivia files a complaint with the FBI and speaks to the press.

Burke, Spota, McPartland target Oliva conspried togetther in one of the meetings to target John Oliva ” because he had become an enemy of theirs and was suspected of revealing embarrassing information about them to the press” DA Spotta applied for a wiretap on Oliva’s phone, under the ruse of “officer safety,” and it was approved by a judge.

Following a four-month wiretap investigation, Oliva was charged by way of a Superior Court Information with Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony; Computer Trespass, a class E felony; and Official Misconduct, a class A misdemeanor. 

Sept. 9, 2014 John Olivia pleaded guilty on to Official Misconduct and was sentenced to a conditional discharge.

February 26, 2016 James Burke pleaded guilty to violating Christopher Loeb’s civil rights and conspiracy relating to efforts to conceal relevant evidence. 

August 2021, Oliva, through counsel, submitted an application to the CIB for a review of his case.

2022 – Suffolk County has agreed to pay $1.5 million to a former Suffolk police detective whose conviction for leaking information to a Newsday reporter was overturned.