Suffolk County DA Spota indicted in police brutality cover-up

Drugs Found in Prison Cell of Ex Police Chief

Suffolk County, New York, District Attorney Thomas Spota has been charged with obstructing an investigation into the beating of a suspect by the county's then-police chief. But more recently, he found himself under scrutiny by federal agents who were investigating a freaky attack on a criminal suspect carried out by his friend and the county's police chief at the time, James Burke. He was sentenced to 46 months in prison.

For his part, Spota's own lawyer spoke for him outside of federal court on Wednesday afternoon.

A lawyer for a district attorney in NY charged with obstructing a federal civil rights investigation into the beating of a handcuffed prisoner by a police chief says his client denies the charges.

Both men were released on $500,000 bond, and a judge restricted their travel to the continental United States.

The four-count indictment charges Spota and his chief of investigations, Christopher McPartland, with conspiracy, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and accessory after the fact to deprive civil rights.

Spota and the chief of his anti-public corruption bureau, Christopher McFarland, face charges for trying to quash a federal probe into Burke's actions.

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A spokesman for the district attorney's office had no comment.

On Election Day, voters will decide between Republican candidate Ray Perini and Democratic nominee Tim Sini, the current Suffolk County Police Commissioner, as the next district attorney.

Earlier in the year, the 76-year-old Spota, a Democrat, had announced that he would retire when his term expired in January.

It's unclear if they'll continue in their jobs as prosecutors while their cases are pending.

The defendants used their authority "to obstruct and attempt to obstruct the federal investigation by, among other means, using intimidation, threats and corrupt persuasion to pressure multiple witnesses, including co-conspirators, not to cooperate with the federal investigation, to provide false information, including false testimony under oath, and to withhold relevant information to prosecutors", the court paper said.

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