The now-month-long federal criminal trial of former Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota (D-Mt. Sinai) has exposed horrors.
The first is that for nearly 16 years, Spota, his protege, Suffolk Police Chief James Burke, and their gang, ran Suffolk's law enforcement like a criminal organization.
Spota and Burke called their gang “the Inner Circle” and “the Administration” - but testimony from now-retired cops shows that they operated like the mafia: “Enemies” - honest cops, political opponents or defense counsel - were aggressively targeted for “personal, financial and professional destruction.” Family members of their “enemies” were also targeted.
Spota and Burke go back to the 1970s, when Spota was a young assistant DA, and Burke was a teenage criminal, whom Spota used to investigate a youth murder in Northport. Spota mentored Burke for years, and as Counsel to the Suffolk police unions, got him into the force. When Burke was investigated for having sex in his police car with prostitutes, leaving his gun at a felon’s home, and lying to police investigators, Spota was there to protect him.
After Spota blackmailed former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy to resign - and turn-over to Spota $2 million in Levy’s campaign cash - Spota forced the new County Executive Steve Bellone (D-Babylon) to hire Burke as Suffolk’s Police Chief. Never mind Burke’s record of lying, prostitution and criminality.
Within months, Burke rushed to the 4th precinct to claim a bag of “nasty” porn stolen from his unmarked vehicle - and personally beat the handcuffed suspect - with a dozen Suffolk cops present. Then all the cops were told to shut-up and lie to Internal Affairs and the FBI.
Spota backed Burke to cover-up the crime. Including wiretapping honest cops who might be cooperating with the FBI and tipping Burke to their identities. If all this sounds like a bad combination of “The Godfather” and “Serpico” it was - except that it was not a movie - it happened here - in suburban Long Island.
The second horror exposed was that Spota and Burke “shut-down” the Anti gang state-federal task force in 2012 because its members - then Suffolk Detective Rob Trotta and two others - were “too friendly to the FBI” and “couldn’t be trusted.” So MS-13 gang activity exploded, and dozens of people - mostly children - were hacked and macheted to death as MS-13 ran rampant. Part of that was pure racism - Spota and Burke couldn't care less about dead Hispanics. But part was just their callous arrogance of a lifetime of criminality.
Thomas Spota betrayed his office, and corrupted our police and prosecutors. And dozens of people are dead thanks to him. He deserves to be convicted.