Suffolk County DA Spota: “I Will Be Leaving My Post”

District attorney Thomas J. Spota
District attorney Thomas J. Spota

By Kathryn G. Menu

Outgoing Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota announced Thursday he would resign from his post following the announcement on October 25 that he had been indicted on federal obstruction of justice charges along with his top aide, Christopher McPartland.

“I will be leaving my post as district attorney at the earliest opportunity after the resolution of normal administrative matters relating to my retirement,” said Mr. Spota, 76, in a statement released by his office. “The governor will be notified of my decision today. The chief assistant district attorney, Emily Constant, will thereafter assume my duties and responsibilities.”

Federal charges allege Mr. Spota and Mr. McPartland, 51, were a part of a cover-up of the assault of a handcuffed Christopher Loeb in 2012 by Suffolk Police Chief James Burke. Mr. Loeb was arrested after Mr. Burke’s police vehicle was broken into. Mr. Burke is already serving 46 months in federal prison in connection with the case.

Both Mr. Spota and Mr. McPartland pled not guilty and were released on $500,000 bail secured by their homes, according to the District Attorney’s Office. U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Wexler ordered both men to not have contact with each other without lawyers present, and not to contact any witnesses connected to the case.

Mr. Spota has been the Suffolk County District Attorney since 2001, and was not seeking re-election this fall. Next Tuesday, on Election Day, voters will choose either Republican nominee Ray Perini or Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini, the Democratic candidate, as the new district attorney in Suffolk County.